We watched our church's Facebook streaming service. I will say our Pastor and his helpers have done a good job trying to keep things normal and uplifting.
I haven't really had much to write about. Just the day to day stuff. We've been staying around the house like everyone else. Grumbling about the neighbors who don't follow the shelter in place orders who are running and visiting and doing whatever they darn well please.
Like many, DH has been working a lot in the yard. We bought this house about 22 years ago this month. So, sometime after that he planted what were labeled "dwarf" burning bushes. I tease him it's a good thing he didn't buy full size ones since they are over 7 foot tall. Well, one of his projects has been to trim them down. What a chore. I helped him as much as I could. Due to allergies and the fact I sunburn so easily even with sun screen, I don't usually do much outside. But we got both trimmed and the branches cut up and put in lawn bags. Then we had a wind storm with big branches and DH had to deal with those. I'm sure the lawn waste guy wasn't happy to come by our house. But we are not allowed to burn, so this is the way we have to get rid of these items.
I planted some lettuce in two different pots, two different plantings. Both have come up and if we had decent weather this week, I bet one would be ready to use. But we are supposed to get really cold weather this week with a chance of snow. I covered the pots up this afternoon because there is a chance of storms and then possible freeze.
DH planted onions, radishes, and lettuce almost two weeks ago. His radishes and onions are starting to peep through. Hopefully we won't have extreme temperatures. He's worrying about getting tomato and bell pepper plants the first of May. Hopefully the place where he does will have them and be open.
I read that many folks who haven't planted gardens are thinking about it due to food shortages. I see Miracle Gro has an ad about gardening and suggests planting a "Victory Garden" like people had during World War II. Are you planning to plant a garden this year?
Viewing the 'Ramblings and nonsensical chatter' Category
The weather here in Central Illinois has been nothing short of gloomy until yesterday. We actually had an afternoon of sun after a morning of pea soup fog. DH got a chance to go out and work in the yard which delights him. He found two baby bunnies in the front yard. They've since moved which is good. He will be planning his garden and hopefully when it warms up, planting a garden and he doesn't like bunnies to use it as their personal buffet.
Illinois has been ordered to shelter in place since Saturday night. Two days ago I suggested to the Facebook group that our subdivision has that maybe we could do a zoo with stuffed animals for kids to see in windows since yesterday was supposed to be nice. One lady took the suggestion and ran with it so to speak...she made a list with street names and which animals, and it was nice seeing families going out with the checklist looking for the "zoo animals." This was not my original idea; I saw it online somewhere else. The best thing was people who normally never say anything would shout a hello if you were in the yard.
I guess one bad thing is I can see some neighbors who are not following the shelter in place order. People can still go to work if their place of employment is considered essential and that's not what I'm talking about. It's seeing people going to other people's homes and having people over or going shopping for non essential stuff. It angers me because it means they are doing this and however many other folks are doing it which is going to extend the outbreak as well as the sheltering in home.
I've kept busy doing cleaning and some crafting. I don't have the ability to make masks. So, I've worked on other items for donations later when this passes.
I think our grocery spending has increased some as some items have sort of increased. Last week there was so little bread at the store we wound up paying $4.50 for a loaf of organic. Granted, it was tasty, but, that over $2.50 more than what we would pay for a loaf. Last week the grocery stores were slammed and there were empty shelves in so many areas. When we went this week, there were many items there that were not there last week, including toilet paper. We didn't need any so we passed. Figured let those who were without get it. It was weird seeing the yogurt aisle riddled though. We eat yogurt for breakfast and although we found some for our breakfasts, not the kind we normally get, but oh, well. Guess it means we are having to be more flexible. As we walked by, we saw the ice cream case was pretty empty. I wonder if many of us will have put on weight once this is over. LOL
Hope you are all staying safe.
I shared this on Facebook this morning. I'm not a sage by any means, but to be honest, I'm a little tired of the complaining and negativity as well as the panic on the news.
I was thinking about our situation and then remembering something in the past. In 1978 I was in high school. That year we had missed so many days due to bad weather. Either a snow day was called or we had early release since many of the students at my school district lived in rural areas. We were supposed to have a longer spring break, but the board of education decided to have us go to school on all those days except Good Friday to help make up some days.
However, on Good Friday we had an ice storm. Power was knocked out in many areas of our county. Sadly, the school board had to close schools for the following week. Like many, we did not have power so we had to rely on a battery operated radio for any current news.
We basically had the phone to keep in touch. My dad went to work, and life went on. We didn’t have the money to go shop. We played Monopoly at night with candlelight and we used the fireplace to keep some heat in the house. We ate what we had at home. My mom found some dry ice to put in our freezer so our frozen stuff didn't spoil. This went on for over a week.
Right now, we are very blessed we have electricity, heat, and water. We can still turn on the television, computer, or phone. There are so many things we can access online and we can order things to be delivered. God has blessed us with so many wonderful things. We need to keep things in perspective. Maybe we can’t go out and meet with friends, but we can still contact them.
Look beyond yourself. If you are feeling lonely, think of the many people who live with this every day. Do something for someone else. Write a letter. Write an email. Give someone a compliment. If you are crafty or handy, make something for someone else. Pray for someone. This may be a way for us to be creative in helping one another. Look at history, so many people have suffered so much more in things beyond their control. Having to sit home isn’t that bad if you have a home. We aren’t living the miserable life of captives in concentration camps. Find some kindness and share it!
Our governor just had a news conference and closed all restaurants and bars as of Monday evening through March 30th.
Last week all schools were closed starting Tuesday until March 30th.
Most churches are suspending services and those that can are going to streaming. No activities for two weeks.
Lots of panic shopping going on as far as the news reports -- cleaning out supplies of all kinds.
DH wonders if the governor will suspend travel in the state as well.
I normally keep a few items on hand. Last week when we grocery shopped, other than hand sanitizer and facial tissue, everything was basically stocked. I guess that isn't the case. I just feel with this new announcement of closing restaurants and bars, I bet the food hoarding will get even worse.
I'm hoping to keep busy around the house. I have some projects to work on. I hope DH doesn't go stir crazy. He likes to be out and about and he normally goes to the mall to walk.
Well, here is my state update. It feels surreal.
I really like the show "Home Town" on HGTV. I guess one reason is the hosts seem like nice people. But another reason is they work with a variety of budgets. And both Erin and Ben seem to be the kind to not only use new stuff, but reuse and repurpose other things. I like watching that kind of thing and it seems I am spending a lot of time looking for ways to do just that.
As many of you know, I belong to a knitting group at my church where we loom knit hats and scarves and give to schools and other non profits in our area. We gave to 4 schools last year as well as the hospital for the preemies, and then a bunch of baby hats for one of the clinics here in town as well as a social services group and a woman's shelter. One of the things I do with the smaller bits of yarn is crochet dish cloths and I made and donated 125 of them to a local food pantry.
Besides that, I've been making those market bags and giving those away to my friends as a way to use up bigger pieces of yarn that there isn't enough for a scarf or hat. It keeps me busy (and off the streets LOL). Seriously, I just like making sure I can use up the things we have.
I saw on Pinterest how to fold newspapers and make bags so I've made a few of those too. Our comics section is printed on heavier paper and I'm thinking these would make great "gift" bags for thinner things.
I recycle what I can, but I also reuse as much stuff as I can. I seem to have a fetish for glass jars; I have all different shapes and sizes. I like them for storage as well as for leftovers. Plus we won't even mention my love affair with canning jars.
I make my own laundry detergent and have been using the same plastic jug to store it in. I figure I'm saving money as well as not contributing to using more plastic bottles. I also have smaller glass jars with some of the extra laundry detergent in it.
We eat a lot of chicken around here and one thing I do is pound the chicken breasts to tenderize them and then flour them. I hate using a new bag each time, and read a suggestion about using a bread bag. What a great idea. Granted, it is still using plastic, but I figure using them for something else helps.
I'm collecting those mesh bags that fruit and vegetables come in to make a scrubby. I don't have enough yet to make a decent one.
I reuse envelopes that mail comes in. Some I make lists on, and some I just use to store things in. We collect cancelled postage stamps for a mission at my church so I keep an envelope with those in it. We also collect coupons from the paper inserts to send to some military folks and I use one of those reply envelopes for those.
For years I've used cloth napkins and I go through a ton of kitchen towels. I do use paper towels for stuff like raw meat, but I have cut down on the paper towel use a lot. Most of my friends as well as my hubby know if they want to give me something for Christmas or birthday, a kitchen towel is appreciated.
I continue to search for ways to reuse things. We shop at thrift stores a lot for things. Most of my kitchen dishes and plates were bought preowned. I figure I'm saving money not only by doing that, but also by not using one use items like paper plates. I have a couple of cast iron skillets that I use frequently. I have one of those splatter ware lidded pans that is oblong that I use for a lot of baking and cooking. It was my grandmother's.
So, what do you you reuse or repurpose to help save money as well as our environment?
When we purchased our last vehicle three years ago, we bought a package that provided so many oil changes, so many detail jobs, free tire rotation, and points to save up to get cash, plus the privilege of a loaner if we needed it. A few months ago I had an issue and was pretty upset and the guy at the service department said since I didn't want the loaner, they would bring me the car when it was done. It's a nice service and we paid for it upfront and have gotten what we feel is our money's worth.
Well, today we were supposed to take my husband's vehicle to the place for a detail. No money out of pocket since it was part of the package. Except, when we got there, they were looking over the vehicle and pointed out that we had a nail in our tire so close to the sidewall that it could not be repaired. It has to be fixed, of course. I'm not doubting that. But so much for a no spend day.
In Illinois we pay extra gas tax and it is supposed to be used for fixing our roads and maintenance as well. Well, I'm not seeing a lot of fixing or maintaining and there's always a lot of junk on the roads. It's one thing to pay an extra tax for something and get something back, but I don't feel like we are getting our money's worth. Grrr
I've been trying to use up stuff from the freezer and pantry and only buying things we use each week like milk, eggs, fresh fruit, and bread. I know it has made a big difference in our past few grocery bills plus we are using what we already had. Once a week it is what I call buffet night where we have a little of this and little of that from previous meals. I just hate to see food go to waste so it's a good way to clean out the fridge.
Although we don't live in a flood plain, we bought flood insurance last year and this year's premium came due. So, I'm trying to cut back on spending a little bit on other stuff so it doesn't make our checkbook balance go down far too much. DH read that so many places have had floods that have never had the problem before and regular home owner's insurance doesn't cover it. I really feel insurance poor some days, but hopefully we will never have to use any of it.
I continue to work on hats and scarves for my church's knitting group. We haven't been able to meet for the past couple of months because every time we have a meeting planned, we've gotten snow or ice. So, I work on stuff at home. Another church gave us a bunch of crochet cotton so a couple of us are also making dish cloths. I made 125 of them last year to donate to a local food pantry for them to put on their line for people to take if they wanted them. I used leftover yarn for them and someone had given me some crochet cotton too. Hopefully with the three of us making them, we can have about 300 made for Christmas baskets this year. I know it isn't a big thing, but a new dishcloth is kind of nice.
I had purchased some yarn and it is very thin. My fault -- I didn't look closely. It would take three strands to make a hat or scarf. So, I've sort of put it to the side. Well, I was browsing Pinterest which I swear is dangerous. I saw a knitting loom pattern to make a market bag which is one that isn't totally solid. So, I followed the pattern and have made two, using up this thinner yarn. I am thinking maybe I can make these for gifts to add to packages for Christmas. They go quickly and don't take a lot of storage so maybe this is something someone could use. Plus, another use for the yarn.
I did crochet myself a doily out of some crochet thread I had purchased a few years ago at at thrift store. I have made 4 book marks out of the remainder of the thread. One more thing I used up.
And an update: A couple of weekends ago I talked about the neighbor girl and her mom letting her play sports with a 103.5 fever. Sadly, the girl wound up in the hospital for almost a week not only because of the fever, but she couldn't move her arms and legs and ached all over. She's home now, but I can't even imagine the pain and expense that caused. Plus, the fact she could have infected everyone else she came in contact with.
It's 40 and sunny. The snow we received earlier in the week is starting to melt so we can see the brown, crunchy stuff we call grass.
It's been sort of a tough winter here in Central Illinois. We've had snow, ice, and below zero wind chills. Then there is the gloom.
Fortunately we have not had the snow storms I remember having in the 1970s. A couple of times they had so much snow pile up, our three lane street in the downtown became a two lane one as they plowed the snow into the center lane as a large wall because there wasn't any place to put it. In high school I think we spent more time at home a couple of years than we did going to school We either had a snow day or early dismissal. I honestly don't miss those kind of winters.
A friend asked me last week, why do we stay here in Illinois? Good question. I can't imagine living anywhere else. I grew up here. I met my husband here. We own our home and have our friends, church, doctors, etc. here. Unless the Illinois legislature continues to add more taxes, the cost of living is probably pretty decent. They've been tax happy and we've had quite a few added. Hopefully it won't get much more expensive.
I'm just glad we didn't have enough bad weather to cause us to lose power, be homebound for weeks, or get in an accident. The beauty of being retired is we don't have to get out to go to work and if it is slick we often choose to stay in until the roads are better. We figure those people who have to be out don't need us clogging up the streets and getting in their way.
The ongoing joke is when the weather forecasters call for snow, the grocery stores are mobbed, and we have had photos showing the empty racks of bread, milk, and eggs. Seriously? I could see if we were going to have a storm that lasts days, but lately we haven't, and I don't get the whole milk, bread, and egg rush. If you aren't using this stuff normally, why the zealous desire for it now? I can only imagine they are making a lot of French toast or something! Perhaps the grocery stores pay the weather folks so they have a "run" on stuff.
Well, I'm glad that white stuff is going away. I know in the movies it's always magic when it starts to snow. What would be magic is having someone come shovel my driveway when it builds up.
So, go away, snow!
I'm starting this with a disclaimer...I'm not a sports person. Don't beat me up over this, OK? I know people like different sports. I think in many cases sports can be a great thing. But it seems like it is being taken to an extreme.
OK, now that I've explained that, this is my rant. I know people like sports. I get that is interests them and it is entertainment. But I worry that sports has taken over.
I grouse often on the weekend because a sports program will run over and the program I want to watch is either delayed or not shown at all. We only get two local news on Saturdays and Sundays, one at prime time, and then one at ten. Heaven help us if there is a sports program on in the afternoon and another in the evening and then there is no news. Yes, I know, I can catch the national/world news online. But our local station doesn't broadcast theirs online if there's a sports program.
Then there's the issue of how sports events seem to take priority over family things. A friend's mother died and her daughter-in-law and granddaughter couldn't attend the funeral because there was a game the granddaughter played in. The athlete's mom is now bragging how her daughter is playing with 103.5 fever. I bet the other players and parents are thrilled to hear that. Why has sports become so all consuming?
My husband likes to watch sports. I do not. I don't deny him that pleasure. I get that people like to watch, participate, and talk sports. A number of years ago a pastor at a church we used to attend would bring up a sports reference in every sermon. I nicely told him that not everyone cared for sports and perhaps he should vary it to keep the interest of those of us who aren't interested. Being the know it all that he was, he said everyone liked sports. There were times when he referenced something in a football game that I had to ask my husband to explain after church. Needless to say I didn't get much out of that sermon.
It's like sports has become a religion. Guess I'm a nonbeliever.
Thanks for letting me rant.