Living Frugally and Well: Running Out of Track on the SpendyTrain

Saturday:  Today was our quarterly family day...I was so excited that I was up early this morning in anticipation but not before the sun!  It was lovely to know that I had all the main prep work done and I was down to chopping cilantro for the garnishes and making up the guacamole.  

I put the pit in the guacamole to keep it from turning brown then covered and put in the refrigerator.

I decided to add the Mexican Rice to the menu.  I used chicken bouillon and a single 8 ounce can of tomato sauce, half a chopped onion and brown rice.  This turned out rather nice and is something I'll attempt to make again.

I Wander....The Autumn Version

I haven't done one of the wandering thoughts posts in quite a long while.  I think I'd like to make this wandering post autumn themed...


Granny had a few bulbs she'd planted that bloomed in late September and early October.  She called them Spider Lilies and there was always a bouquet of them in her home.  Other folks call them October Lilies.  I think they are lovely regardless of what you call them.

The chipmunks and squirrels dug up the bulbs, found them inedible and obligingly replanted them in various spots.  It was a good thing that along about now the lawn needed far less mowing because those lilies came up in the most random spots usually in the midst of the lawn.

I see these lilies about older homes this time of year.  And I'm so pleased that my single bulb which I have had for years has tripled this year and I now have three.  Mine are growing right up against the forsythia that Granny gave me. 

I mentioned to John that I supposed she didn't even know it was in that clump of soil that surrounded the forsythia but he pointed out that Granny never seemed to do things without knowing exactly what she was doing.  I like his thinking.  I like to think that Granny saw the bulb in the soil and left it purposely to share with me believing that one day I too would have a yard full of Spider Lilies in some September when she wasn't around.

This Week In My Home: A New Season

This week in my home...

...I have just hung out a load of clothes in the breezy autumn afternoon and almost too warm sun.  It's late to be hanging out a load of clothes but if they are not dry come sunset I can leave these on the line all night long and start the day with them there tomorrow.   That's our second load this afternoon and the dishes are running in the dishwasher now.  The bed has recently been made afresh with clean linens for the start of this fresh week and fresh season in our home...

Living Frugally and Well: It's AUTUMN!!!

                        One of my revamped summer wreaths dressed  for early autumn

Saturday:  John said that we simply HAD to get out of the house after our week of coping with evacuees and no power.  He said we deserved a special day, so we went out for breakfast.

We followed up the breakfast with a stop at Lowe's.  I eyed the mums that I saw displayed but didn't get out of the car.  John went in and purchased one item, a container of poison to go on the many anthills we've got here.

We stopped at Aldi.  I bought stuff just for the upcoming family day and very little for our own use this week.  I did double up on milk since I wanted to make yogurt but I didn't have plain yogurt to use as starter.  I knew I'd be going to Publix tomorrow to pick up a newspaper.  Remember those mums I saw at Lowe's.  I knew full well the ones at Aldi displayed by the front door would be a much better buy and they were.  I picked two to bring home.

We stopped at a  Kitchen/Restaurant supply store as we drove to the Publix Pharmacy drive thru window.  John insisted we stop.  He 'treated' me to stainless steel dry measure cups, and two fry/saute pans.  He said I'd been a trooper and deserved something special.  He knows that quality cookware is to me what quality guitar accessories and strings are to him.  I didn't protest a bit when he insisted on treating me.

Afternoon Coffee Chat: Weathering the Storm

Hello dears...Do come in.  I've a fresh pot of coffee and though it's hot outdoors, I confess that after my day in the kitchen this coffee is hitting the spot.  It is my signal that, except for completing the soup that we'll be having for supper, I am DONE for the day.

Do have some coffee and a cookie, too, if you'd like and come and sit here near me and have a good old fashioned chat of  this and that and nothing much.

September has proven to be a very busy month.  Far more busy than I'd anticipated when it was not quite here.  Oh I had plans made, I generally do, but then there were so many things I hadn't planned upon.  Those things took me by surprise and yet they were right and purposeful.  I do love how I can have my plans and then God has his plans for me.

This Week In My Home: Ending and Beginning

In my home this week...

...I hit the floor running this morning.  The first load of clothes is on the line, our bed stripped, and all but the dishes from our breakfast already loaded into the dishwasher.  I have had multiple things on my mind this morning.  I sat right down before 6am and planned out this week as nearly as I can plan it.  

It is my plans to attend church this morning.  I missed it last week.  When I return home, I will be busy trying to finish laundry, calling for Air Conditioner repair, sigh, and getting a head start on next weekend's meal which I mean to prep and put in the freezer.  Yes, it is promising to be a busy day and I confess I'm a bit weary of this day already.  I am praying to be fully refreshed by church service this morning!

I shall not delay further but go right on and type out my plans for the week.

Living Frugally and Well: Oh What a Week!

Hello all,
This week's posts were impossible due to a power outage.  You'll recall I left off my last Living Frugally and Well post with the note that I had people coming in to ride out the hurricane.  How ironic they all went home and soon had power but mine stayed out until past noon today.  I've made some notes of what worked well for me and what I'd wished we'd had or someone else suggested would have been a help.  All in all, we had little damage.  There was a mess of leaves and twigs to clear up and a few already dead but too high to reach branches fell from the trees.  Our biggest problem was downed power lines.   I thought I'd hit the highlights of this week's savings, because there were savings despite it all!

I really wanted to share a photo of the grandkids...I had 5 of mine with me during the hurricane/tropical storm and enjoyed them mightily.  Oh how they have grown!!  However, blogger is refusing to work with me on loading photos again, sigh...I'll try to upload later in the weekend and add in...

Living Frugally and Well: Autumn Savings Ahead

Saturday:  We drove up to Katie's this morning.  I made breakfast at home, urged John to pour the last of the coffee into his thermal mug and managed to prevent us making any stops along the way.  This was merely a savings a time.  We did pull off at the gas station on the corner of the final road near Katie's home.  I sent John into the store to buy Taylor a bag of M&M's.  I claim Gramma privileges in bringing her candy.

John stopped at the roadside stand in the gas station parking lot.  I bought some apples.  I asked if they were local and I didn't really get a reply but I bought four apples just the same.  I'll see if they taste fresh and local and if so then we'll stop by there in the future.  I also bought HOT boiled peanuts which was not what I got at the end of last month, though they were fresh.  They were cold.  Big difference in my opinion.

Coffee Chat: Nearly Autumn

Hello dears.  I've just taken cookies from the oven.  They are chocolate chip and quite warm so you must quickly take one up...I think as good as chocolate chip cookies are, there's nothing like a warm one filled with melt-y chips.  I almost always choose the largest one on the pan first, but then I think better of it and put it back, opting instead for the one with the most chocolate chips showing.  Does anyone else do that?  Have some coffee and a seat and let's talk for a bit.  It's too  full of gnats outdoors to be pleasant to sit outside on the porch as I'd like.  I've been out three times already trying and without a breeze to shoo the gnats away it's a botheration to be out there. 

And there goes the second reason I've no desire to outdoors...John is mowing the lawn.  It's slowed it's growth finally but not to the point of waiting more than 10 days to cut again.  You see his funny hat to keep sun off his ears and neck and the sunglasses?  Maddie runs and hides when she sees him.  We thought it was the mower that upset her but it seems it's John in his mowing garb.  Such a silly doggy!

Stockpile on a Budget

From my earliest memory, each summer the women of my family were busy  "Putting something by" as my Grandmama always called the annual summer activity of canning and freezing foods.   We pretty much lived off the produce for nine months or more from what they put up each year from the gardens and I can seriously not recall one family member who didn't have a garden.

After I mentioned my personal desire to have a year's supply of food on hand in my home, Jessica asked how one went about building a stockpile, especially if you were on a tight budget.

In My Home This Week: In September...

In my home this week...

...I am looking forward to cooler temperatures, especially at night, and crisp fall leaves, apple desserts and the smell of wood smoke drifting on the evening air...and I'm waiting impatiently for such a time to come as we finish up summer.  

My anticipation is enhanced by the appearance of trees about the place and in the woods in areas where we drove over the past week and this weekend.  The leaves are changing, some are noticeably changed, others are more subtle.  Outside the living room window a single stem of leaves on the pecan tree has gone solid gold.  I don't recall ever seeing the pecan tree change this early in the season.

In many ways, even though the season has two weeks more before appearing, this weekend signifies the unofficial end of summer for many folks.  From here we are leaning hard towards autumn, getting short timer's disease much as though leaving an old job for a new one.    

Living Frugally and Well: End of Summer Savings

Saturday:  Turned up the AC as soon as I got up this morning.  I've been lowering the temperature at night in an effort to get a little better sleep but remembering to turn it back up to 78F has taken a lot of effort.  I wish it were an automatic thought, but at least this morning it was!

Put the pot roast on to cook in the slow cooker.  I had all the vegetables prepared ahead and in a plastic bag in the refrigerator just waiting to go into the crockpot.

I didn't have wine.  Tracey McBride recommended in Frugal Luxuries to use grape juice and add a teaspoon or so of vinegar to the juice and once cooked it would taste much as wine tastes.  I had only cranberry juice to use and felt it needed even less vinegar since it was particularly tart.  It sure did make a rich broth!

In My Home This Week: All Routine