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Water Main Break

January 20th, 2019 at 11:48 am

Awoke this morning to a water main break in our subdivision. As cold as it is, I guess it shouldn't be a shock. We did make it to church, but decided to spend money and eat out since we weren't sure if/when we would get water. We tried a place for breakfast we had never eaten before and it wasn't bad. Not planning on making a habit of it, but it was something different.

We were supposed to get 4-7 inches of snow yesterday and we got a light coat of freezing rain. After last weekend's snow, it was a nice break, but sorry for those who had to be out in the mess south and north of us. We stayed in because we weren't sure how the roads were and we didn't need to get out. Instead of we cleaned house and I pulled some stuff out of the freezer for lunch.

I am trying to use up small amounts of yarn before I start new skeins. There's not enough to a hat or scarf, but I've made a lot of dish cloths as well as small facial tissue holders for one's purse and then two Barbie dresses. My two little friends are going to have quite a wardrobe for their dolls. Maybe I should start playing with my Barbie too. I bought one at a thrift store for 75 cents to use as a model.

Pantry and Freezer Use

January 15th, 2019 at 02:23 pm

I'm not as good as many of you about just eating from the pantry and freezer, but I have been using things from both. I usually keep some soups and chili in the freezer and we used both in the past couple of weeks. I have stuff canned and I've been using some of it as well.

We did have to go to the store, well, maybe "had to" are not the operative words, but we did go to the store and bought some hamburger, beans, and ground turkey. I wanted to make more Italian wedding soup and some chili to restock the freezer. If the last few days have been any indication, I think we are going to have a long, cold winter. We had 9.5 inches of snow over the weekend and then we had freezing drizzle last night and this morning. There's a chance for more snow tomorrow night as well as the weekend. Yesterday we went to the store to get the meat and beans because I thought that would be a good afternoon project today since I had my eyes dilated this morning and watching television or reading bothers my eyes for many hours afterwards. So, I have one huge pot of Italian wedding soup simmering and I'm getting ready to add some pasta. I found the pasta in the clearance section of the store a couple of months ago...29 cents a box. I guess I'm not a pasta snob. Dry pasta is dry pasta and for 29 cents a box, I couldn't turn it down. I bought two boxes and I think we have had at least 5 or 6 meals from those two boxes.

During the summer I canned tomatoes and canned spaghetti sauce and when I ran out of jars, froze some tomato sauce. I also dried herbs that DH grew. Whenever I buy a whole chicken, I always make broth with the carcass so I had chicken broth in the freezer for the soup. I also wanted to use up the onions, celery, mushrooms, and zucchini I had in the fridge and what better way than to use it in soup? I had chopped bell peppers and froze them so I used some of them for the soup too. Probably not the real Italian wedding soup recipe, but DH loves it, so I'm not going to complain.

Tomorrow night will be use up leftovers in the fridge night. I fixed a small pork loin roast last night with carrots and potatoes. Tomorrow night will be the rest of the pork roast and the carrots. I also have some leftover peas that I will heat up and about a serving of green beans. I'm saving the leftover potatoes to cut up with some onions and herbs to serve with scrambled eggs. DH loves eggs so we usually have them on Thursday with cut up vegetables.

Snowy Sunday

January 13th, 2019 at 12:36 pm

Yesterday we received over 9 inches of snow. A neighbor graciously used his new snow blower to clear our driveway. I'm so glad because I was really wondering how that was going to play out. We did get some snow last night and DH and I did manage to clean it off today. I don't want him shoveling much and I am asthmatic so it becomes a worry, but I think we did OK.

Many of the churches cancelled services, but ours didn't. We could get out and go and it was nice after being home yesterday. Not that we had any place to go, but I think sometimes when you can't go somewhere, you just want to go somewhere.

I pulled chili from the freezer for yesterday's lunch and made Italian wedding soup and homemade bread for last night's supper. I will be freezing the rest of the soup for another meal.

Alliecat79 blogged about trying to realize how much stuff was bought. I really understand that because I struggle with this issue, especially when it comes to Mason Jars. I guess I'm an addict. I really like them and in all sizes. I can so I use a lot of them. But I also use them for storage for other things. Friday we went to the thrift stores and there was a brand new case of them, unopened and I am ashamed to admit that temptation was strong. Brand new. Still in the plastic. Jelly Jars with lids and rings. It was only $4.50 which is cheaper than new. But, I'm proud to report other than picking them up to look at them (they were amber and I wasn't sure what color they were), I left them on the shelf. I don't need any more jars and it was silly to even consider buying them.

Besides cooking yesterday, I worked on looming and crocheting. I have bits and pieces of yarn here and there so I made some baby hats to donate to a local agency for preemies, crocheted some dish cloths, and then crocheted a Barbie dress. I also made a regular size hat for my group for church. We have made 252 hats so far for 2019. I have also been making scarves to go along with some of the hats. I won't ever have as many scarves as hats, but it also gives me a break from making hats. I have plenty of yarn, I just hate to waste any of it. So, I don't need to buy any, that's for sure.

I'm supposed to volunteer first thing in the morning at a school, so I'm going to get a pork roast with potatoes and carrots and put it in the Crockpot to put on before I leave. I have an afternoon appointment too so that will make supper easier when I get home. I know many of you are singing the praises of Instant Pots, but I think I'll stick with my Crockpots since I'm retired and really don't have to rush to get supper done.

Potpourri

January 8th, 2019 at 01:26 pm

Tonight another couple is joining us for a casual dinner. I'm making goulash which is basically ground beef, onions, bell peppers, mushrooms, and tomato sauce mixed with elbow macaroni. We have garlic bread sticks and a vegetable and they are bringing dessert. It is far cheaper than going out and we enjoy being with each other so it should be a pleasure. She is already planning on what she is going to fix when we go over their house. I like this because we can have a nice time visiting and not spend a lot of money.

Speaking of spending, this weekend was sort of spendy one. It was my birthday. For Christmas we had received a gift certificate for a restaurant so we used that for my birthday dinner. DH gave me some money to buy some clothes so I did do that. I have lost a little weight and have gone down a size or two and some of my clothes are really looking big. I'm still wearing some, but I did buy a couple of things in my new size for when we go to church or I volunteer at school. I was fortunate that we had nice weather -- it was nearly 60 degrees and sunny. In past years we have had cold, cold weather and even a blizzard on my birthday so the weather was certainly a much appreciated gift.

Some of the larger items we donated to a thrift shop. Hopefully I will continue to lose weight and can declutter my closet more.

A couple we know has a trailer in a warm climate and they go there for 3 months. I'm glad for them if that is what they want to do, but his messages are what I call a brag fest -- "it was 77 today and sunny and I wore shorts and a t shirt and this is why we do this." I'm not jealous. I have no desire to have another residence nor do I want to spend extended times away from our home. Financially, they really can't afford it -- they live on loans and credit cards and his favorite hobby is shopping. In the past he has tried to make things a competition and I guess he feels this is also a competition, look what I've got and you don't. At this point, we could probably buy a small trailer outright and go there too, but I don't want to. I like my home, my friends, my church, and my community. I like going to the library and checking out books and visiting with some of the people who work there and catching up. And I most certainly would not do this to brag about what I have.

We are dreading getting our statement on our investments this month. The stock market rock and roll ride last month was crazy. Just hope we didn't lose too much.

I went and bought extra stamps since they are raising the price at the end of January to 55 cents a stamp. I know I'll eventually pay that, but I'm putting it off as long as I can. I did score some greeting cards at thrift stores last week. One place had a package of ten for a dollar. I bought 3 packages. A couple I couldn't use -- you couldn't mix or match. One is a birthday card for a son and I don't have a son. We have a box at church where we can put unused cards and they go to the women's prison here in town for the ladies so I bet someone can use that card and a couple others. I think we spent around $6 on cards, but I have birthday, anniversary, get well, sympathy, and a couple of anniversary cards for the year.

A couple other things I did to keep busy was to cut all the coupons out of the coupon flyers in Sunday's paper. I could use a couple, but most I could not. We collect the coupons and a couple sends them to some place for the military to use, even if they are expired. DH bought a Chicago Tribune last Sunday and they had lots too so I spent quite a bit of time cutting out coupons. Hopefully it can help some military families save some money.

I also cut out used postage stamps. Our ladies group collects them for some mission. I dropped the stamps, cards, and coupons off at church today when we went to fill the oil in the altar candles.

DH wasn't happy yesterday when he picked up some prescriptions. The news had been saying some prescriptions were going to go up and unfortunately some of his did. Not a huge amount for his copay, but it all adds up.

So there it is. A mish mash of activities so far in 2019.

This and That

December 9th, 2018 at 01:50 pm

I blogged earlier about crocheting some clothes for a friend's granddaughter's Barbie. Well, they were a big hit, and it seems the dress that has some glitter to it was a favorite. Seems the Elf on the Shelf even wore it one morning to greet the little girl.

Friday I found two skeins of yarn that had a silver cord running through each of them. One was Christmas red and the other was white. I found them at one of the thrift stores we frequent and the cashier asked me what I was going to use it for and I told her for a Barbie, she took off a dollar so I got both for $3. I made 6 dresses for Barbie and apparently that Elf is going to go "shopping" and surprise our little friend. What a hoot. I guess the lavender dress was not the right color for the elf according to our little friend so hopefully the Christmas colors fill fit the bill. Of course I have taken some verbal abuse from the grandmother asking me if I wanted to keep these clothes and play Barbie. All in good fun.

A few weeks ago I found some baby bibs that can be embroidered so I have been working on them. One of the young ladies at church is expecting her second child and I thought I would finish these and give them to her. My only complaint is who in their right mind would decide to have 5 different shades of pink on a pattern? Egad.

Tomorrow night a friend is coming over for his birthday dinner. He was given the choice of our meeting him some place of his choosing or eating here and he said he really wanted a home cooked meal. So, I need to bake a cake for his birthday and he requested meatloaf. It should be a fun time.

We did spent quite a bit at the thrift stores this week. Well for us we did. I think we spent close to $15. Some of that was for yarn for the hats. Plus the yarn for Barbie clothes. DH found a couple of kids' books he wanted for his personal library. He reads to 5 classes and he likes to keep an assortment besides the ones he get from the library. I'm sure if we had purchased these items at retail, it would have been far more.

I did order a music CD for DH for Christmas. We tried to order it from a local CD place here in town, but he said he couldn't get it. I prefer shopping from brick and mortar, especially if they are small business, to support them. I kept checking Amazon and they finally got the CD in. I had some cash back money on my Discover card so I wound up paying $3.50 for part of the postage. My shopping is completed. Yay!

Like CreditCardFree, I finally got to $20 on Ibotta. It seems to take forever since I don't buy a lot of the stuff they give rebates on.

I found 14 cents in a parking lot yesterday. It goes in the wooden box DH has for change. We usually take the majority of the change in in the summer and apply part of it to Christmas and part of it the home improvement fund.

Little Things

December 5th, 2018 at 08:19 am

It's funny how the little things tend to mean a lot.

Yesterday, my coffee maker died. I make coffee every morning. I wasn't happy. DH said he would buy me a new one for Christmas and my immediate thought was what I would do between now and then? I guess I'm addicted to my cup of coffee in the morning.

I then remembered that there was a box in the garage with an old coffee maker. My mom who has been gone 12 years, bought this one and used it a few times and then decided she didn't like it. So, she gave it to me and I have had it in the box in the garage ever since thinking I would use it if mine died. So, I got it out, cleaned it up, and made some coffee. Fortunately it works. I'm not one of those with the fancy coffee makers.

It's funny how something as simple as a cup of coffee means so much to me.

Yesterday I took some cranberry walnut bread over to a shut in. She had mentioned last summer it was her favorite bread. I had made some loves for our Christmas bazaar and had mentioned to one of her sons our bazaar had it, but he couldn't be bothered. She had wanted to support our bazaar and I thought he could then give her the bread, but guess not. So, night before last I made her two small loaves and took that over with some fudge. We had a nice visit.

Such little things, but they do mean something.

Good bye, Garden!

October 14th, 2018 at 02:24 pm

Looking out in the yard it seems bare. DH has spent the last two afternoons pulling up all the garden plants. It is getting more and more chilly here and there is supposed to be a freeze on Tuesday. We spent Thursday picking anything worth picking since there was a chance of frost then. We lucked out, but it's coming.

My counter was full of bell peppers and tomatoes, either ripe, almost ripe, or green. Last couple of years we have put them all together on the counter and they eventually all ripen. We tried the newspapers in the box, but it didn't work real well or else we didn't check it enough.

We shared some peppers and tomatoes with friends. So, hopefully nothing goes to waste.

It's kind of sad to see everything gone. It was a good gardening year overall and we ate very well. Guess we'll have to look forward to next year.

Is Fall Actually Coming?

October 9th, 2018 at 08:17 am

Here in Central Illinois it has been way above average as far as temperatures. Hot and muggy in fact.

But that is supposed to change starting tomorrow with highs in the 50s and some lows in the upper 30s. DH has been starting to pull up garden plants. Yesterday I asked him to pick all the remaining red bell peppers and I washed and chopped them and put them in a freezer bag to use throughout the winter in soups and casseroles.

I have been working on drying herbs. All that was left was Thyme and we did that yesterday. I used to dry them in the microwave, but now I just have them sit in the sun room. It takes longer, but I think the flavor is better.

It's funny listening to people. We truly are never happy, are we? When spring was coming we could hardly wait until the heat came. Now we are wanting fall temperatures. One of my friends keeps wanting snow and a lot of it. I hope she gets a little for her own sake, but I am not enamored with it. It is funny how in movies and TV how when it starts snowing people get all misty eyed and wondrous. They never show the shoveling and slick streets, but I digress.

Fall may be coming. At least i have my canning and preserving completed.

A little this, a little of that

October 4th, 2018 at 08:22 am

It certainly hasn't been a thrifty week.

However, the spending was planned. Tuesday was Senior's Day at Walgreens. I was waiting to buy different things that we use like allergy medicine to get the 20% off. I also used coupons. So between the regular priced stuff that was 20% off, and the stuff on sale that I don't get 20% off, and the digital and paper coupons, I saved over $80 and spent over $200. I hate to see that big number, but the stuff is what we use each month so I would have bought it anyway.

DH's car insurance was due and once he turned 70, the premiums really went up. But, at least we had the money to pay for it.

A couple of months back I bought some material at an estate sale. The downsizing sale was at the home of a quilter and she bought premium material. I pulled some of it out yesterday and made some napkins and two potholders. I can't even describe the beauty of working with good material. I also cannot understand why people don't hit up thrift stores and estate sales for material...far cheaper than buying retail. I've found so many craft items that way. Granted, I could afford to buy them retail, but DH says I like the thrill of the hunt, and I think he's right.

For Christmas last year I asked him to get me the cheapie Singer that was on sale for $69. I'm not an excellent seamstress, but I can sew a little. I have used it so much and have enjoyed using it. My friend is an excellent seamstress and her machine cost way more than $1000. She can afford it and I'm sure it gives her great pleasure.

Today is Thursday and is grocery shopping day. Last night was clean out the fridge supper. Last week I think I spent less than $30 on groceries total. We didn't need much and I was just buying stuff we use each week like bread, milk, fruit, and chicken. I made a couple of meals from the chicken and lots of broth besides. I used up stuff we had in the freezer and we had a couple of meatless meals too. Today's shopping isn't going to be horrible, except we are buying some extra stuff for the church's food pantry.

It has been pretty warm and humid here in Central Illinois. Yesterday it was around 90. Today it is supposed to be in the 70s before it goes back up. It should give the a/c a break for a day, anyway.