The Week Behind: Patiently Content

Saturday:  An absolutely beautiful day today.  Ever more green with each morning, nature is showing itself bound by no man, no calendar and no virus.

No work for us today.  I do make the bed, but dishes are rinsed and stacked, meals are super easy.  Today we had frozen fried chicken.  It was okay.  Not horrible, not great.  This was an item we used to buy years ago as a treat but the quality is not the same.  It was edible but I'll not purchase this particular brand again.

Jenny of Elefantz suggested that we take up our UFO projects (Unfinished Objects) and finish them during these days at home.  A good sound suggestion...I found myself restless today and needing to get some space between John and I.  We weren't spatting but sometimes...So I pulled out the adult coloring books and found several pictures I'd started but not finished.  I finished one of those UFOs this afternoon.  I promised myself last month a bit of creative expression in every day and I'm going to go back and take up that promise once more...I really enjoyed the time I spent coloring.

Meals:  Bagels, Bananas
              Fried Chicken, French Fries, Coleslaw
              (drive-thru made at home)

Sunday:  One thing about Saturdays: It gives me rest enough to be excited to start my work week.  After finishing up my post and sending it out, I determined that I could likely work outdoors before church service aired this morning. 

I watch Youtube's Mandy in the Making each week.  She put up a recipe for an easy Sausage and Egg Muffin a couple of weeks ago and then I watched as Jessica O'Donohue made them.  Then instagram exploded with others who posted they'd made them.

It's a protein rich muffin but it's not too egg-y.  It has a nice tender crumb to it.  I want to share this recipe with y'all because it's a good easy make ahead breakfast that you can double or triple and stash in the fridge.

Mandy's Sausage Egg Muffins
1 cup Bisquick (If you don't have this item see notes below)
4 beaten eggs
1 cup shredded cheese
1 pound of browned ground sausage

Drain the sausage if it's very fat.  Add all ingredients to the bowl and mix well.  Scoop into greased muffin tin and bake at 350F for 20-25 minutes.

*I do not keep Bisquick on hand so I mixed up 1 cup all purpose flour, 1 1/2 tsps baking powder, 1/2 tsp salt and 2 tbsps cooking oil.  This worked just fine.

My muffin pan is not a giant sized one but it does make large sized muffins.  I filled just half full and still got just 7 muffins from the mix but you ought to get 1 dozen regular sized ones without any problems.

I also prepared a half batch of apple muffins and we had one of each this morning...Well John had two of the sausage muffins and I ate 1 1/2...There's plenty for our breakfast another morning.  I hope you'll give this a try, especially if you've got family at home just now.  Imagine just getting up and popping one in the microwave and settling down with a cup of coffee instead of having to scramble together a breakfast for everyone.

After breakfast, I cleared up dishes from Saturday which mostly involved loading the dishwasher.  Made our bed, picked up our room and bathroom and after glancing over house to see if anything more needed to be done, I headed outdoors.

First task was to sort through the stuff at the end of the porch.  I emptied the old trashcan with a lid and discovered that the plastic bottom is starting to breakdown a bit so it has 'natural' drainage.  This made me determine to move it behind the shed to use as my next compost bin since the trash can John drilled holes in for me last year has gotten full.   I found I had two five gallon buckets with holes drilled in the bottom that I will use to pot tomatoes.  I have two nice plastic pots that I will use indoors to put houseplants in.  They do not have drainage holes but I'll put a good layer of broken pottery and get some deactivated charcoal to put in the bottom of those pots before I fill them with soil.  I have loaded up the 'new' compost bin with things meant to go out to the shed and all the tools are gathered in one place so that they too may go to the shed to be properly stored.

Then I moved all my pots from the little bed beside the back steps and weeded it well, touched up the mulch with some fresh mulch from the last bag I purchased last fall.  I set the base of the planter in the bed and we shall be able to fit it there very well with room to spare for tomatoes and flowers, too.

I noted a small hole in the siding and suggested John caulk it now before I refill the bed.  While he was doing that I went to work on the flower bed between the faucet and the AC unit.  I discovered that TA DA!  The Clematis I planted last spring that 'did nothing' had come up!!!  Right now they are about a foot tall.  I was so pleased.   In that bed, I dug weeds from pots...The Dianthus is lovely and the Angelonia is putting out little leaves at it's base.   Then I started tying up rose vines that were creeping everywhere except upon the arbors.   And last I broke off all the old Lantana stems. 

I have a love hate relationship with this Lantana.  It's an old fashioned variety that gets quite large. Bees and butterflies LOVE it.  It smells a bit like cat pee to me though, so I don't want it near the house at all.   However, I've been digging this particular section of plant out for YEARS now and always there is some remnant of root that sprouts and makes a HUGE new plant each spring.  When I was breaking off stems today, one piece came up that had two tiny stems of new growth. I shoved it in a pot.  Why am I planting something I love/hate to start a new plant?  Because I have this idea it would be rather pretty planted in a row with forsythia and quince in an old abandoned flower bed that is between a sort of oval of drive where cars come up one side and go down the other to head back into the driveway.  It's away from the house.   And currently the kids keep driving over my forsythia and spider lilies despite rocks...I figure if a honking big bush of some sort is planted there they won't drive over that!

John made quick work of caulking the little hole in the siding.  I then instructed John to spray the two baby sweet gum trees in the bed  i was working in with weed killer.  This is an ongoing battle.  Much as I love the sweet gum the roots run over a huge space of ground (we even found them under the house!)  Now and then little trees will spring up, always right next to the house or under a rose bush.  I fight these annually.

While he had weed killer out, I asked him to go spray the outside edges of the flower bed rocks that edge the back porch...It wasn't until much later that I discovered he'd brought his coffee outside and had apparently meant to settle to enjoy it on the porch.  My bad!  I should just make up a honey do list and let him tackle things as he is ready to work each day but he never said a word, just did what I asked which was very nice of him.   I've been far less patient with him interrupting my duties and leisure these past couple of days.

I can't paint the planter until I put bleach on the mildew and clear it off.  I think I'll paint the whole unit with a white mildew/algae resistant paint that we have on hand and then coat it with my pretty color paint.

We came indoors just in time for church.  While music service was on, I took a quick shower, but hung the clothes I'd worn outdoors on the line to air because I literally had them on only about two hours.  And since there is plenty more work to be done tomorrow, I see no point in putting them in to be washed.

While service was on, I sat at my desk with the fan blowing fully upon me.  I'd gotten pretty warmed up while working outdoors and the shower didn't really cool me off much.   I colored another not quite finished page as I listened to the pastor preach this morning.

John headed over to Sam's.  They plan to cut trees in both our yards today.  I gathered up the things I've saved for the chickens and added in some pieces of bread that are really just over running me at present.  I have plenty of croutons and plenty for making bread crumbs but I can't really afford to make a strata at present (too much cheese required) and really...I'm not terribly fond of loads of strata for just the two of us anyway.   I had started a bucket of things for the chickens but they molded and I wouldn't take them those  the other day.  Instead I started a fresh bucket which I kept in the fridge with a lid.    I walked over to the chicken pen which is a little more than halfway between our two homes. I swear those chickens said "Thank you!"  I'm happy to bolster their feed with things they might eat from our home.  Those chickens feed us plenty of eggs and it's my way of giving back a little to them.

Pulled leftover tuna pasta salad from the fridge for lunch for myself.  There's enough for John to eat the same when he decides he's hungry.   I cooked some barbecue chicken breasts on Friday afternoon and I think we'll have that for supper this evening.

Made my pillow cover for the chair pillow.

Matched fabrics up for aprons and found my apron pattern.

Made a new cover for the Kitchen Aid from a vintage pillow case.  Now I can change them out as I get them dirty.

John and Sam took down a very big cedar tree in Sam's yard.  The plan had been to cut down two trees in our yard as well but I think the guys got too hot and too tired.  John came in looking spent.  I felt pretty much the same.  Between the work in the yard this morning and the heavy sweating after my shower I am pretty sure I got depleted.  I had some electrolyte drink and put the rest of the bottle in the fridge for John.  Glad I did.

Meals:  Mandy's Sausage Egg Muffins/Apple Muffins
              Tuna Pasta Salad   Oranges
              Hot Dogs, Coleslaw, French Fries
             Not on the menu plan.  I was just drained after my session in the yard this morning followed by sweating so heavily after my shower.  We put the coleslaw on our hot dogs, Slaw Dogs we call them in the South.  

“To be content doesn’t mean you don’t desire more, it means you’re thankful for what you have and patient for what’s to come.” Tony Gaskins
I borrowed this from a blog this week...I know it's a quote but I borrowed it after seeing it on her blog post.

Monday:  Gracious it is Monday isn't it?  Let me see...yesterday we watched church online..Yes.  Today IS Monday.

I should say it's all this stay at home that's got me discombobulated but I've been struggling with days of the week since John started that silly 24/48 shift work two or three years ago...And though he's not worked like that in six months I'm still having a hard time getting my days straight!

I kept things simple this morning for breakfast and once Sam got here to help John cut down the persimmon around back that was crowding in my Sweet Gum, I hurried to do my few chores, which included stripping and remaking our bed and putting a handful of dishes away in the dishwasher.   Then I too headed outdoors and started priming that planter. 

Bess and the boys came along before I was done but the baby was placed in a baby chair near the inside of the back door, so I could see and hear her, the boys were sent to play in the yard and I finished off priming until I ran out of paint in my pan...Then I cleaned up and we all came indoors to be with Millie.

The boys wanted to watch a Baby Grampa video and I held that delicate and dainty little girl.  She was very somber today.   I got a bare half smile and then she was back to frowning but she looked the house over really well before deciding that her tummy was gassy and hurt badly.  This only resulted in her blowing bubbles, getting hiccups and scowling now and then with not one whimper.

Once the guys had loaded up all the limbs and carried them over to Sam's burn pile, he and John came back here.  Sam assured me he'd insisted on John having a heavy electrolyte drink today while at his place.  He told me he was just as wiped out as we were yesterday afternoon.  Yesterday's high was 85 and it was humid and thick.  Today we've topped out at 78 and there's a lovely cool breeze blowing.

When Sam and the children left, I went back to finish priming the pieces and then came indoors to make  up lunch.   It was nothing fancy and not really satisfactory but it was food, it was eaten and now we shall not have that batch of leftovers before us.

Back out after lunch to paint my pieces that lovely bright coral pink that I'd chosen.  I'll show you a picture...

Do you know that after lunch paint time was just peaceful as could be.  Carpenter bees kept pausing to see what I was up to and apparently admired that pretty color a good deal.  The breeze blew just enough to keep me comfortable.  The birds chirped and I realized as I was painting that at some point I'd completely emptied my mind of every.single.thing and was in fact simply in the moment of paintbrush and nature.  It is a rare thing for me to get to that space of being.  My head speaks too loudly and too incessantly for me to ever meditate but now and then it happens.  And today it happened and though I felt physically weary by the time I was done, I felt emotionally, mentally and spiritually that I'd drawn water from a well that I'd been thirsting after for a long time.

I was able to get all the pieces painted in about an hour and a half.   Just as I was finishing up John came out and said he was going to mow.  "I'll do the bottom first, then work behind the sheds and up at the top of the hill before working around the house.  That way your work will probably be dry."   I'm very grateful he thought of my own hard work in his plans.  Some men mightn't be so thoughtful!

I headed in to get a shower and felt pretty much all gone, all over again.  I thought about that ready prepared, already thawed casserole in the fridge and I just couldn't abide the thought of one more casserole at present.  I took two small sirloin steaks from the freezer and put them on the counter to thaw.   Not a hard meal to prepare and most certainly not another chicken casserole.  I expect that will be a meal for us Tuesday or Wednesday.

I want to share something I heard yesterday evening on a television interview and I know it's going to alarm a few, but I also know that not everyone hears the same interviews and I believe this is something we all need to pay attention to.  One of the senators was speaking with a reporter and he said  that the cycle of this virus is to die back in the heat of summer but then to ramp up again when cooler seasons return.  He said that we're looking at a year and a half at the least of dealing with this thing overall.

That is a pretty damned sobering statement and it shook me awake.  This truly is the 'new normal we're experiencing and it is just beginning.   He didn't say we'd be socially isolating for all that time but it's likely that we will be asked to at some point again in the year if things have already peaked for now.

I realized that it's a sort of call to those of us who want to be prepared to do what we can as we can about stocking supplies and food or planting gardens, gathering home school supplies, saving money now for later, etc.  This time we've had thus far is likely our first trial run of what life could be like the rest of this year and part of next.

Meals:  Peanut Butter Toast/ Banana
             Used the last of that buttermilk oatmeal bread...I think I'll try my hand at a new loaf tomorrow.
              Leftovers: fried chicken (1 small piece each), Chicken Wild Rice Casserole (less than a 1/2 cup each), Orange Slices, and John had a half slice of bread.
              Steak, German Potatoes, Green Salad
              I realized as we ate tonight that what I was really craving was that green salad...Note to self...It's the season to stay stocked with lettuce. Admittedly a little bit harder due to checks being just 8 days apart this month and limited fridge space.

Tuesday:  We were watching TV last night when John got a text asking if he'd work today.   He said yes, reluctantly, but yes...And now that he's at work he's working three days in April, including this Friday.  Note to self, he needs lunch foods...Best put that on my grocery list!

So he was up at 5 this morning to get ready.  Due to lack of space at work he asked if I could make him a lunch that required no refrigeration.  That I could do easily.  It's not as hard as it sounds.  Peanut butter/jelly, bread, crackers with peanut butter, canned chicken Vienna sausages, banana, and an electrolyte drink, plus some cookies.

I made him breakfast and sent him off with his packed meal.

After he left I put a load of clothes on to wash: sheets and towels.  He'll be doing a load when he comes in tonight as well as showering simply due to the nature of his work and the current environment.

Remade the Buttermilk Oatmeal Bread...And y'all it is delicious!   The only problem I'm currently having is that (a) I don't have bread flour so I'm using AP and (b) apparently despite measuring the yeast I have according to a trouble shooting site, my bread is getting too much yeast.  So I'll cut back a wee bit until I find that sweet spot.  This is not just a problem with the Oatmeal bread but the Easy White Bread recipe as well.  Both rise but during the baking it's like they collapse so the top is sunken.  Everything else about the bread is fine: texture, crust, taste but that slumped down top.

Anyway, here's my amended recipe and please note that I didn't use the measurements I posted in comments last week and I did do something else different so read on:

Buttermilk Oatmeal Bread

1 1/4 cups buttermilk, I increased by 1/4 cup.  I also heated in microwave to just above room temperature.  Last week's buttermilk was straight out of fridge.  It did separate a bit but I used it anyway and it worked fine!
3Tbsps. Sugar I increased this amount by 1 tbsp.
1/2 cup oatmeal decreased by 1/4 cup 
1 tsp salt
3 tbsps. cooking oil or softened butter
2 1/2 cups bread flour I am using what I have which is AP
2 tsps. bread machine yeast

Optional: this week I added a half cup of raisins and 1 tsp. of cinnamon powder

I used a 1.5 pound loaf setting on my machine.

This amended bread smelled so good baking and I barely let it cool before slicing off that rough top edge so it was level all around.  I ate that part of the loaf with some butter and it was every bit as good as it smelled.

As I said I'll play with my yeast to find the decreased amount that works best for it. I don't know why it's doing as it is, since it's the same brand of yeast I'd been using but I'll tweak it and see how it goes.

Not a big cooking day for me today with John gone.  I need to load the dishwasher before he comes in tonight.

I was going over the fridge trying to decide what would be best for a late supper for him tonight and remembered the BBQ chicken I cooked this weekend while making another meal.  It's just breast meat that I cut in half lengthwise to make fillets and then topped with Bbq sauce.  I'll make him a sandwich from that.

Remembered that we have a package of cream cheese in the fridge that apparently froze at some point.  The use by date was August 2020 but it was crumbly and grainy.  John was going to toss in the trash and I threatened him if he did, lol.  I told him I'd do something with it. Tonight I saw the jar of salsa, the packet of cream cheese and thought I'd make that yummy and simple corn chip dip.   Here's what I discovered: I used the whisk attachment on my mixer and the crumbly/grainy cream cheese whipped smooth even before I added the salsa.  I realized that I might add in flavored fruit jams or honey to make a spreadable cream cheese for our bagels or toast or as a dip for fruit slices.  Definitely going to keep that in mind because every now and then as a package nears expiration date I'll toss it into the freezer. 

Wednesday:  Grocery Day which was oddly enough very much anticipated, dreaded, excited and anxiety causing all at once.  First there's just the fact of leaving the house, period. I did tell John that we need to get out and just ride since we live in a rural county.  I do think it will help mentally. 

Anxiety and dread was due to the fact that we had offered to pick up anything needed by our neighbor and Mama and I wasn't sure what we would find for any of us, what sorts of limits we would be facing, etc.  Confession time, the anxiety over dealing with Mama's list was higher than concerns over my own very long list of needs...

So we stopped at neighbor's only to discover her two daughters had attended to her needs that day.  I was glad for her and we went on to Mama's.  I knew when she said "I have a list" that it would be a longer one.    When we arrived at her home her first request was for us to bring her fast food. I refused.  I'd made sure to keep my distance from her and told her we were not going to expose ourselves more than necessary today but we would be shopping at two stores, Aldi and Publix and would get what we could at each.   And for the record, I did pick her up something at the deli which pleased her when I returned  but I again made her keep her distance from me while I unloaded her things.

All in all it went well enough.  Aldi was out of some things and yet had others.  Publix actually had more empty spaces on their shelves but unlike at Aldi I didn't walk every aisle.  It wasn't an easy day nor especially difficult. I experienced a stupid amount of anxiety in trying to get things for Mama which was exacerbated by John's just wanting to be done with it all and saying so repeatedly.   I finally shushed him and told him to just let me do what I needed to do to get it all done.  I did tell Mama we'd only be going to the two stores so if she didn't get some things that was how it would be.

I picked  up lots of produce for us and Sam and Bess.  I shared quite a bit more than they asked for and when I was asked why, I told Bess simply that it was a fair trade for the eggs and venison they so generously share with us.  And it is indeed.

No real supper for us tonight.  We ate a late lunch  before we headed home though I'd no intention of going to fast food, but blood sugar drop demanded we do something and pretty quick.  John took the long way home which was lovely.   I called Bess as soon as we got home and unpacked produce for her then sat and chatted with her.  After she left,  I finished unpacking groceries.  I looked at the clock as I put the last item away and it was 6:45!  I couldn't believe how very long the day had been!

As Lana mentioned in her comment on this week's coffee chat, I planned no meals before shopping because I was unsure of what I'd find.  Because I know I often buy basics, and most of our meals are made from basics, it's no hardship to shop without a list or a plan.   I did go over my pantry and freezer to determine what we might best use if it were available. 

John asked if we hadn't spent more than usual and yes we did.  In fact I spent 3/4 of my monthly budget today.  I assured him that we had the money in the account and I'd adjust when we get our next check and spend less then.   I showed him this evening how much of what we purchased went into our pantry.  We didn't buy more than one of most items even if they were unlimited, but I did keep in mind our pantry/freezer stock and what would augment us best.

I made a smoothie for my late supper.  John opted for cereal and toast.

Do you know what did us the MOST good today?  It wasn't just getting out of the house.  The truth is that being in the stores was pleasant enough and people tried hard to keep distances between them.  Having to be so very aware of where people were did create a distraction and that led to stress as it was easy to miss things that were on my list.  I did some back tracking several times.   But the part that did us the most good of all, was John's decision to take the long way home.

There's a little town that I've always loved in John's work county.  I have admired it for years upon years and several times when house hunting in both my first marriage and this one, we have actually looked at homes in that town.   Well, I have my home here now but to drive through that little old town still gives me pleasure.   Then from there out into the country proper and crossing the river that an old ferry used to cross and back into our own county along roadways we haven't traveled in a long while.  Spring green leaves, waving fields of green wheat, red clover blooming were just lovely to see.  I felt tensions melt from my shoulders and I chattered away about all sorts of things.   I told John that was some of the best medicine I could have had, that extra bit of riding.

Goodness, it's late...I need to finish up and get ready for bed!
Meals:  Cheese toasted Raisin bread
             Burger and Fries
             Smoothie (me) Toast and Cereal (John)
Thursday:  It's done the expected thing now that April is here and turned off considerably cooler.  I had to bring in my ivy and parlor palms last night but left the rest of the plants outdoors.  There was no chance of frost but I felt the other plants would normally be outdoors in that sort of weather, unlike the ivy and palm.

Not a lot of work done today.  My hip has ached for unknown reasons.  Basic housework was quite enough to do.  I saw no need to try to do anything heavier.

So typically I made Shabat bread on Thursday.  Mindful of what I'd read that I might be using too much yeast (even though it's the measurement I'd used all along) I decreased the yeast by 1/4 teaspoon and also let the yeast bloom for only 6 minutes.  Success!  I had a lovely loaf with a beautifully rounded top.  The thing I'd kept doing was adding a bit more and it was the exact opposite of what was needed.  It had never occurred to me that yeast might be greater in strength, but there you are.  Now I've solved my mystery I shall experiment with a French Loaf on my bread machine.

I opened windows this afternoon until I began experiencing a headache that I'm pretty sure is pollen induced.    I actually got a bit cool and had to put on my jacket while the windows were open.  Ironic that the moment we shut them the AC came on.

I've been lax with my Pre-Algebra studies these last two weeks but I did manage to finish another chapter today.  I went ahead and did the end of chapter review when I finished off the last section.   I'm going to get myself in form once again and do my studies 5 days a week as I had ought.

Part of my push is because I've told Bess I'd help with Josh's home schooling.  I think per our last texts I'm going to be music/arts and crafts a couple of days each week for an hour or two.   I'm looking forward to that.   We'd been discussing it yesterday before I heard that the governor has said no more school for this year.  There will be remedial work next school season but we don't want Josh too far off base.

I've also had a hard time doing the reading I'd promised myself I'd do.  Why?  I think part of it is that I have three books I've started and all three have palled for one reason or another.  I am pretty sure I've stalled on the one book because I had expectations about it and the book wasn't meeting those expectations.  So I'm going to start it up again with a clear mind.   I think I'm just going to do all three the same. I started them all quite some time ago and then just dropped off and picked them up again.  I'll likely get more from them if I start fresh.

Friday:  The weeks seem to fly by and drag slowly like cold molasses all at once...How can it be so?  It seems it was just a day or so ago that I began this post.   I've thought of dozens of things to add or mention or to write in a separate post.   Do you all want/need to hear my extra thrifty tips?  Are your stores still poorly stocked?  I have been so focused on what is going on in Georgia that I haven't paid attention to any news other than New York's which seems to be front and center of the news reports.
If you would find posts like my budget tips two weeks ago helpful, or need help in transforming pantry items into meals,  or want to know how to start building a pantry, or harvesting at home from your own kitchen, etc.  please let me know in the comments.

John is at work this morning.  I've got a second load of laundry in already.  My first was his big old fuzzy robe and a Queen sized blanket of similar material that has been used all winter.  Now it's master bath rugs and entry door mats.  Next week I'll put in kitchen rugs and the guest bath rugs to wash together.  I'm hanging things on the line, but the robe and blanket will go into the dryer later this afternoon when they have thoroughly sunned.  The dryer will pick up the pollen on those items then.  Not so concerned over the rugs.  We don't wear or sleep under those!

I sent John off with a lunch and breakfast this morning.  He was dreading going in.  I told him this morning, "Then you know your limits now.  A shift in a couple of weeks time is fine but two days in a week's time is too much if you're feeling angst over it."   He's signed up to do two days at the end of the month, as well, but I'll make sure come May to remind him that a couple of shifts a month or just once a week is plenty!

He is convinced he needs  to work, in the financial sense.  We don't know if our main retirement funds will recover...but what we do have is secure and we can manage on it until I 'retire' next year, albeit the budget is snug compared to what he made when working.  I think when I say we haven't money for larger projects he'd like to work on that he thinks there is no money at all.  I can and do plan to start setting funds aside for his bigger wants but as with all things, the budget comes first.  He has an auto deposit that goes directly to savings from each of his paychecks and I'm trying to insure that the bulk of what he earns extra does go into 'savings'  of some sort after tithes are paid, whether it's a sub-account for his wants for his work shop/tools or into a proper savings account.

I have almost finished my work for the week, at least as much as I feel I want to get done.  I've done enough extra this week to feel comfortable in taking another slower day.  I've cleaned our bath, straightened up house, made the bed, done my Bible study, swept off the front porch.  It's too cool to go out with water to clean that porch so it shall wait until the weather warms up once more in the mornings.  My last tasks today will be to hang the rugs, run the vacuum over the carpet and empty the trash and compost.  I should check over the fridge to see if I've any leftovers that need to be transformed.  Oh and plan meals for the day and weekend and do any prep I can towards that end.  I won't make a big meal today.

I am just longing for a fish dinner but I haven't any on hand.  I'm not eager to run into town to the grocery and certainly not to pick up fast food anywhere.  I do have a small can of salmon in the pantry...I think I'll just make that up into patties for my dinner...Just must come up with something for John's supper tonight as he's not going to eat salmon in any form!

I was sweeping the porch this morning and realized that one of the amaryllis was in a lovely solid white container.  It will be just fine for re-potting one of the houseplants.  I'd said I was going to look for new, prettier pots for the houseplants as I find the cheap black or dark green plastic ones make the plants themselves appear cheap.  I'll plant the amaryllis in the flower bed along with two more I have.  They do beautifully in the ground here if Maddie doesn't cover them up with dirt when she starts digging.   They like their shoulders bare, much as an Iris does.

Well dears, I'll end here and send this post off early to make up for how late it was going out last Friday.    Have a wonderful weekend.  If weather allows, get outdoors and soak up some sun.  Listen to the birds sing and breathe in the fresh air.  It does a world of good in our days of social distancing.
Hugs to all!

Oh and do stop in and share what you've been doing this week.   And don't forget to comment if you're interested in my heavier duty savings sorts of tips.


Wendi said...

I noticed that I've spent more at the store than usual. I think in part its due to the fact that I have to purchase what is available. Instead of being able to purchase the store brand of an item I've had to purchase the "premium" item. I am well stocked and hope I don't have to set foot into the store for the rest of April. We'll see.

Hubby hung a couple of gutters on our fence last night. I plan to plant lettuce today. My daughter has asked for strawberries in the other. That will require a trip out to purchase plants. I hope that by planting the lettuce I can provide a side dish of salad with a trip to the store.

The long drive home sounds lovely. I might have to mention a drive to hubby. I could pack us a lunch to enjoy along the way. I might even have Megan bring along her fishing pole incase we find a spot to fish. I think that might just be what we need.

Lana said...

Our daughter in Germany pointed out that prior to the 1918 flu epidemic there was not a flu season. Flu was new and deadly. After that there was flu and cold season and we might as well resign ourselves to it being flu, cold and SARS/Covid season every year as well. We will build immunity to it if we have it so the cases will be less. Also if a vaccine is done right it will slow it down significantly. It is so important to eat well right now to keep the immune system strong. Our groceries were more this week but I felt like the investment in plenty of good fresh produce to keep us really healthy is so important right now. We also bought plenty of eggs and fish for good fats. We typically eat 8-10 servings of fruits and vegetables every day and I mean to keep at it. I have a supply of alfalfa seed for sprouting if need be.

Have you tried the oven fried chicken recipe where the chicken is breaded with Bisquick? Since we found that recipe we have not bought fried chicken from out one time. It is delicious. Here is the link
I have just been making thighs for us and they are delicious! And super easy. I do line the baking dish with foil to avoid a huge clean up mess and I only make enough for one meal so I do not know how well it reheats. I do find it worthwhile to keep a small box of baking mix on hand for the occasional recipe that calls for it.

Well today is bills and the beginning of the budget month for us. We will not go to the bank and get cash for the month as we usually do because I cannot abide the thought of where the cash has been so I started a ledger to keep track of the cash we have not gotten so that we can catch up later. It is not as though we will be going anywhere to need cash anyway. In March we moved a lot of money to CD's since the bottom fell out of the money market.

We are needing a ride out through the country too at this point. We are not sure if our little lake front park is still open. Our governor closed all access to beaches and lakes this week since people were still congregating there But, there are always nice drives here since we are close to the mountains. Have a good weekend!

Anonymous said...

I always love hearing any money saving menus/recipes or other ideas you have. Our stores are hit and miss. Aldi this week had a pretty compete deli area and finally had some fresh meat but little else. Still no eggs or milk. The other store had a good fresh vegetable section but most shelves were mostly bare but did have some oatmeal and a few rolls of toilet paper for this in need of it. I notice when areas seem 'full' if you look they have put the same item out in several different places to help it look that way. Some items that are usually for sale are still gone. They are doing the best they can. Flour seems to be one of the things hard to find anywhere. Any kind of it Manager said they cannot find any to stock. We did see sugar a couple weeks ago at one store, but none since. Everywhere you can find lots of chocolate chips, icing and the sort. Those are not basics and it is the basics that are gone. The rows of granola and energy type bars was full! :)

We are doing good. Got some thing neighbors wanted when we did have to go out. One child still working at work the other just this next week has to start working from home. I heard the news about the come back on this virus later in the fall. So much is new and not known and we will have to wait it out. Everyone is holding their breath onto many issues. No wonder we all feel stress. Then throw people closer together and tell them you have no idea for how long and... All our activities stopped and life a we knew it has so suddenly shifted. Too much to take in. ! Then our little health clinic closed temporarily. We were told this by phone recording but no talk of what to do about the appointments we had for soon or were our doctor is now etc.. Every family has their concerns. Every family has their life ajar and unsettled in one or many ways right now. The only steady thing it seems now is our faith. What I would do without it ..I don't know.
As said before,.. here in America we have been so abundantly blessed for so long. We were used to it. Took it for granted. Yes of course we will make it through this. It just seems so unreal right now. :) Sarah

Anne said...

Yes, there were flu viruses, and others, before 1918, but no one knew what viruses were so they were not called as such. It wasn't until the 1930s that microscopes existed that could see a virus.

Anonymous said...

It sounds like your retirement is social security
So at least you can count on that

terricheney said...

Wendi, I was just wondering if I could buy tomato plants in town. I'll get something out. I need to dig through my seeds and see what I already have on hand. Guess I'll do that tomorrow.
We are on an official order to stay at home, stores now allowing only 5 people at a time in, etc.
I think I spent more because I'd heard so much was out and when I saw they had a good supply of things I bought what I needed and one extra instead of saying it could wait until next time. Glad I got Bess produce. She went shopping the very next day, same store that was fully stocked and because of the nothing but essential business order put out starting April 4, people were raiding stores all over again and nothing was left.

Lana, Anne is right there were flu virus, often referred to as 'grippe' but the 1918 Spanish flu was a particularly virulent variety and like this one many people caught it, transmitted and died from it. Our great fortune now is that we have antibiotics to fight the pneumonia that often results from the illness, unlike those in 1918. And you are right, we'll build immunity, and get a vaccine and it will come back year after year during cold/flu seasons but not be as devastating as it has been this round.

I agree that good fresh foods are immunity builders.

Am mentally slapping hand across forehead...WHY did I not think to oven fry? It's the only way we ever used to have fried chicken!

Sarah, Life as we know it changes daily. Now we must wear masks of any type, even a scarf or bandana over our face when we go out. I did muse that no one would think it odd just now and fear they were being robbed, lol...I'm glad I have a good supply of scarves and John was given a handmade mask by one of the Mennonite girls who hang about EMS office when a female medic is working. He was appreciative of it!

Yes, there are things I didn't get despite visiting two stores. I got all purpose flour at Aldi but Mama wanted self rising. No such critter there and I got one of the last of 2 2-pound bags at Publix. It was unreal to see that the whole of the sugar/flour section was empty except for those 2 lonely little bags.

Lana said...

Hanging my head in shame for not checking the facts and just going with what my daughter said. She is just really stressed out living in a big city in an apartment building with small children. They cannot even go outside.

terricheney said...

Nothing to be ashamed of Lana...I looked up the info myself but having read LOADS of historical things I was pretty sure it had been around by different names. 1918 was the first time the words "Influenza" were used. It was even called La Grippe at some points as well.

Anonymous said...

Would love all the frugal tips and recipes you have. Can never have enough!

Anonymous said...

More of the pantry, recipes meal tips would be wonderful

Anonymous said...

Hi Terri! Before I get sidetracked I wanted to say that I love all your tips and pantry/menu tricks! Our stores are very well stocked now, but it took a few weeks. Staples such as rice and beans are still hard to come by from San Diego to LA and places in between (where we are) but we can find cheese again and meat and poultry which were/are still slightly scarce from time to time. For the first few weeks we couldn't find fresh potatoes anywhere which I thought was odd. However, after some thought, I realized that they do last a while in cooler temperatures and are a great staple. No problem now, thank goodness. Rosie is only about 20 miles away in more southern Orange County and none of their stores have had much beef at all. Mike and I had plenty in our freezer so we dropped off a nice full bag to her and her husband a few days ago. It was his birthday last week and they had a birthday party with their friends using FaceTime which I thought was so funny and clever. The stores are very strict regarding social distancing. They have lines outside with tape on the sidewalk spaced 6 feet apart. The same inside to keep the checkout lines the appropriate distance. Like you, we keep a healthy pantry so I didn't fuss much. I did try to reorder some of our Costco staples but they were sold out and have been for weeks. We didn't even try to go in person. I did miss our cheeses at first though, and Mike missed his milk. No problem finding either now. Fresh eggs were another scarce item at first. Again, readily available now. Thank heavens. One thing we could find regularly were fresh fruits and veggies. That was a blessing for sure. I'll admit that this experience has reinforced my gratitude for our normal abundance in this country. How very lucky we are.

The governor has closed all the beaches and parks here. One of our little treats is driving through and getting a cup of coffee on the weekends. We live very near the coast so we usually say hi to the ocean along the way but lately, like you, we've been taking the long way home and it's a refreshing little change. It's pretty crazy how many people we see out...the die-hard surfers are still surfing...but not near as many as normal times. But no crowds. We have also been trying to support our local restraurants by bringing in a meal or two as a treat on the weekends. We don't normally eat out much so it's a nice change and hopefully helps the local economy. That's about it here in so Cal. Very very quiet as well. The roads and freeways are so light in traffic even at rush hour. It's almost surreal. We are getting used to the stillness so much so that I'm afraid we'll need to readjust again when it's back to normal haha. So glad to hear all are well. I do believe this entire experience will, in hindsight, be deemed a blessing in disguise. Prayers and good thoughts to you and all good souls here.
Much Love,

Anonymous said...

P.S. I forgot to mention that our county has had a stay home order for several weeks barring essential travel for supplies etc. Walks are fine as long as social distancing is kept.
Xox Tracey

Karen in WI said...

Terri, thank you for the sausage muffin recipe. I love the tip on how to make your own Bisquick and I think I can convert that to gluten free. I haven’t tried the buttermilk bread yet as I have to get buttermilk, but I did take note of your tips. Who would have thought that LESS yeast would have been better? I do need to save some of the buttermilk and culture it for as we can’t just run to the grocery anymore.

We finally had some nicer days and the sun shone! It seemed as if it would stay gray and cold forever. I have been trying to pace myself with the yard cleanup, pruning and fertilizing. I have to build up endurance and not kill myself with marathon gardening days. My husband did just get the garden tilled and ready for planting and our two younger boys helped me plant some peas, onions, and lettuce today. They just came out to help me and I thought that was sweet. Nice to spend some time in the sunshine with my boys as I know these times are limited with them growing up. We jumped the gun and put our outside furniture on our front porch. We usually wait until the middle of April as it can still snow for a bit yet, but we were just too excited this year! I can’t wait for it to be warm enough to sit on the porch with my coffee in the morning.

I am planning on making some face masks this week and just need to find good quilting type cotton fabric in my stash. One of my son’s friend’s mother has a bit of a quilt shop on the top of her garage and I am going to see if I can have her put.a few yards of fabric on her front porch for me. Oh, and I need a new apron or two also so maybe after I get done with masks I could do that. I wear my aprons daily and some are looking quite worn and stained. I would love to see a picture of yours when you are done.

Well I am off to bed asI feel just beat this evening. All the fresh air I suppose. Have a lovely evening and hugs to you!

Shirley in Washington said...

Hi Terri - I think of you often as I work around my home and gardens! Home is our weapon, that phrase has gone through my head so many times since I read it. I so enjoy your blog and find reading it an escape from this strange season we are going through. Thank you! My Mom is still well though they now have 3 positive cases at her care facility. Thankfully, I can Skype with her almost everyday. Any frugal tips or recipes that you have time to share are much appreciated! Blessings, Shirley

terricheney said...

Shirley, I'm glad that you are inspired by my words. Thank you for saying you find some solace here during this odd time in our lives.