Sunday, November 23, 2014

Sunday Ramblings

Today was Christ the King and the Mass today talked (or should I say our priest talked) about what really matters to God and Christ. It is not what we have but what we give that really matters. Father Brian told the story of a king that had no sons and so put it out into the kingdom that he wanted to adopt a worthy son so take over for him.

A peasant boy saved his pennies and bought a good suit of clothing so he could apply. On his way to the throne room he saw an old man shivering in the cold and gave up his clothing so the man would be warm. As he approached the castle the peasant boy wondered if the doors would even open for him. To his great surprise, he was ushered into the throne room immediately. There sitting on the throne was the old man. The king looked at the young man and said "Welcome my son."

To him that gives up much, much will be given.

Makes me wonder if I give enough of what really matters to those that need.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Projects Finished

Well I guess I should say almost finished. I still have to block and thread the ends through the two rugs I have made for Kurt and Kris for Christmas. But I can safely say the main parts are done!!

Now I can move on to the projects that will make me a tiny bit of money.

Here is a picture of Kris's finished rug.

Not too bad, I could have gone a couple more rounds with the darker brown, but I was running out of time.

Here is a picture of the rug that I made for Kurt.

It is just a small narrow one to sit in front of his sink in the kitchen.

Two gifts down and now the only ones I have left to get are for my brothers and my three nieces.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Baking and Such

Today has been a very strange day weather wise. We got well above freezing today and the sun was shining all morning. At about 2 the clouds started to move in. We are still above freezing, but now there is a greater risk of that lovely freezing rain..... Which means driving to work on ice covered roads come Monday morning when the temperature drops once again.

Considering what is happening in New York State this really seems minor. My thoughts and prayers are with those that are stranded, or buried under snow.

Since I managed to finish my to do list early today, I decided to do some more baking.

First off I made these....

Two dozen bran muffins. I plan on using them for a quick breakfast and a morning or afternoon snack on those days I work next week.

Then I moved on to some Chocolate Chip Cookies.

This is one bag of the double batch I made. I tried a new recipe and really am not to pleased with how they turned out. I think for now I will stick to my Mother-in-laws recipe. They give me a bigger, chewy cookie.

Then I made those perennial favorites. Unbaked Chocolate Cookies.

I promised I would post the recipe awhile back so here it is.

Unbaked Chocolate Cookies

1/2 cup butter or margarine
1/2 cup milk
2 cups white sugar
1/4 cup cocoa
2 1/2 cups quick cooking oatmeal

Mix butter, milk, sugar and cocoa in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil and boil for 5 minutes stirring frequently. Remove from heat and add oatmeal. Drop by tablespoonsful onto wax paper. Cool and store. You should get about 2 dozen. Work quickly as the mixture hardens very fast.

After baking for most of the day, and doing the usual Friday chores, I did something I normally do not do. About a month ago my grocery had a BOGO free event. Taking advantage of it I bought these.....

I don't usually buy these as I can make them for about half the cost, but when they are on sale and BOGO free....well I couldn't resist.

Made them tonight just to save time and really they were not too bad considering they weren't homemade (I think we might be a touch spoiled here on the old homestead). Still have part of the bag left and some leftover from our dinner. Don't think I would make a habit of buying them, but if the opportunity arises I think a few packages for emergencies would be quite okay.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Oh My!!

Once again I became a bit sidetracked yesterday. Not totally of course, but enough that by the time I realized I had not done a post for the day it was late and I was tired.

Why did time get by me so quickly??

It was time to set up the wireless scanner/printer/copier and I just knew if I didn't get it up and working that day, it would be sitting and waiting until Kris got home for a bit of a holiday.

The first part of the morning was spent clearing the computer desk of all kinds of things. I don't know when it became the catchall for tools, bits of bottles of aspirin and other such paraphernalia but it did. The job took quite a bit of the morning, but I was left with fairly clean spaces and a few files yet to go through (printouts of patterns for cross stitch, knitting and other crafts).

Harvey helped me get the machine out of the box and onto the corner of the desk where I wish it to sit. Then I started to work.

At first things were going smoothly, it hummed and cranked when I plugged it in. I followed the directions the machine gave me on its screen and then came time to install the ink cartridges...... I had a terrible time with those (much harder than our other HP printer to install). The machine spit them out at me three times, various cartridges of course but three times in total. And by spit I mean spit. One of them popped out and onto the desk surface at one point. I almost started to talk to said machine to ask it why spit at the person who bought you. Finally the ink was in. Printed the test page and everything was fine.

Then came the installation of the software. Moved along very well. All was installed smoothly. I just kept hoping that the software disc wouldn't come spinning out of the DVD and take off my head. After all this machine did seem to like to spit.

The printer found my network, I got all the IP address inputed and moved on to the next step. Getting my computer to recognize the printer.....

This is where I hit the proverbial brick wall. Nothing I did could get my computer to recognize or find my computer.....

Now usually by this time I am ready to give up, go crying to Harvey saying that this can wait until Kris comes home, or go quietly mad in a corner somewhere. I almost did the second, but calmed down and started to read the troubleshooting tips. One of the tips said to send a report to HP. I did that and within seconds (the time it took for them to get the report) they were in contact with me. Talked me through the process, and got me a fully functioning wireless printer/scanner/ copier (also fax but we will not use that feature) here!!

Then of course after supper I had to play with it to figure out how the scanning feature worked...... I just plain lost track of time.

Now that it is working correctly I can start another organizing project in the New Year..... getting those old photos scanned and put on thumb drives or well identified discs. I see a new challenge coming.

Everybody have a wonderful day.

God bless.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Thrifty Tuesday

The last few days have looked much like this.....

Dark and dreary, with snow and blowing snow. It is that time of year when our electric bills get higher and higher since we have electric heat in the back of the house. This type of weather usually throws our budget totally out of wack.

One way of being thrifty at this time of year is to make sure lights are off in rooms we are not in, turn down the heat in our bedroom during the day, keep the heat off in the rooms we do not use and make sure we use everything up.

The one place we have a great deal of control over is the grocery budget and now is the time that control comes in handy. We made a stock up trip to Regina on the weekend, so other than things like milk, dairy, eggs, fresh produce, and fruit there should not be much spending going on.

To improve spending habits at this time of year I think through every purchase and make them count. Anything leftover from a meal is packaged away to be used as the basis of another meal.

Take today for instance. I had a small container of mixed veggies from supper on Sunday and the recipe I planned on making called for 1 1/2 cups of frozen peas (which I only had about 3/4 of a cup of). What to do.... I emptied the container along with what was left of the peas into the mix. Then I did not have Cream of Celery soup (I was sure I had some) so I used Cream of Chicken. Two substitutes in one recipe.

This did not seem to make much of a difference to our casserole. The Tuna Bake was wonderful and piping hot. Perfect for this cold early winter meal.

Harvey and I had generous helpings along with some homemade bread. There is even enough left over for another meal for the two of us. This is packaged up and in the fridge to be used later this week. Cost of the meal...... around $4.30. This works out to $1.08 a person as it serves 4. Got to love a meal that is so inexpensive and yet so tasty.

This winter I am really going to try and keep our dinner menus under $7.00 to make. Wish me luck as I think I may need it.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Menu Monday

Menu Monday has rolled around again on the old homestead. I am finding it difficult to come up with varied meals for this time of year. I always seem to fall back on the tried and true. Hopefully I can get a bit inventive with the leftovers over the rest of the month.


Tuna Casserole will be served along with thick slices of fresh made bread (must get that started shortly).


Pork chops, leftover mashed potatoes, and green beans. I think I may glaze the pork chops for a different taste. I also have some salad to use up.


Leftover Chicken or Leftover Turkey. Not sure what this will be, I will be taking a look at a few of my leftover cookbooks and choosing something new to us. Stay tuned for the final results.


Chili pulled out from the freezer..... I think I will serve this with homemade biscuits.


I have a couple of bags of store bought Perogy in the freezer. I think I will make some of these up as a quick meatless meal this week.


I will be pulling a package of Cabbage Bread out of the freezer for our meal. Thinking this could be another baking day. Got to get some things made for Christmas!


This could just be a clean out the fridge day. If it isn't I have a Chicken I can roast and serve with all the trimmings.

So there are my weekly menus. Nothing too extravagant, just good old fashioned cooking.

Everybody have a wonderful day.

God bless.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Sunday Ramblings

It has been a quiet day on the Phillips homestead. Cold and windy with some snow outside, but nice and toasty warm inside.

We attended Mass today, and while once again not everyone showed up to do their ministry, and I was told by numerous parishioners that the church doors were left open last week due to my neglect, I smiled and carried on as usual. Strange how people enjoy finding fault with others even in a sacred space.

Bishop Jim was with us again today, we have the great luck to have him with us again next week as well. He is a wonderful speaker and his homily today on the parable of the talents brought home to me that in order to share in the fullness of Gods gifts we have to give those gifts back.

Yesterday we traveled to Regina (thank heavens we did not go up today as there were white out conditions at various times on different sections of the road) to do a bit of a stock up and shop for those things we can not find here in Estevan.

Upon arriving in the city we, of course, phoned Kris. Kris usually answers immediately but for some reason was as he put it sleeping like a baby.....Right through 13 phone calls a couple of messages and a couple of texts. He did manage to get up and answer his text by giving me a call, right when I was at the till at Fabricland!!! I did something I hate and answered him while waiting to pay. He ended up meeting us at Micheals and continued to spend the rest of the day with us.

Before he met up with us though Harvey and I went to Futureshop where I bought a new tablet. My old one "bit the dust" as the sons would say.

So without Kris's help I ended up buying this Samsung. It has a bigger screen than my old one, and a larger ram (which is expandable). So far I have managed to get many of my apps (those I remember) downloaded onto this tablet and have tested most of them out. Liking it so far.

We then went to Fabricland where I finally managed to pick up the fusible interfacing I need, and a couple of meters of black fabric for a quilt (once I manage to get the unfinished projects done).

On to Micheal's..... Just look what I managed to snag.

I got two balls of yarn to make ruffle scarves with, a ball of really strange yarn to make a scarf that is totally different all for a cost of less than $6.00. I also got 2 balls of sock yarn, and three balls of Lion Brand Homespun (the Homespun I am going to use to figure out a pattern). Front and center is a purple package. That purple package contains a sock loom!!! Should be interesting as looking at the directions it seems much harder to do than I thought.

We then went to Costco. Managed to get some great deals, and the fridge and freezers are well stocked. There were a few items that I could not get, but I did manage to get them on sale at a store here at home today.

The last place we visited before going out for a meal was Staples (we could have visited here, but without Kris to help us). Here we bought something that we will be needing very soon.

A brand new wireless printer, copier, scanner, fax machine. I have been trying to upload pictures to Facebook of pictures and they just do not turn out correctly. This will enable me to scan those photographs I have lying around and store them on thumb drives, or CD's. Thus clearing out and organizing them.

So while the last two days have not really been frugal, they have given us time spent together and enjoying each others company. They have also given us new items that should last us a long time and help us organize things in a continued attempt to downsize a bit.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.