Thursday, January 31, 2013

Perhaps No Visit

Our youngest son Kris, is supposed to come and visit us this weekend. With the terribly cold weather we are having, a problem has developed.

His car won't start!!! He even called a tow truck and bought a tickle charger/booster from Canadian Tire. No luck!!!!  Tomorrow the weather is supposed to be better so hopefully he can get it going. Right now it does not look so good for a visit.

Since he needs his car for work this could be a major problem.

Keep your fingers crossed for him.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Mission Accomplished

We are really in the deep freeze here for the next couple of days and thanks to another blogger (Thanks Deb from Homespun Living for the great idea) who defrosted her freezer during a cold snap I decided to give it a try.

Boy this worked like a charm. I now have a nicely cleaned and organized freezer and Harvey thought it was the neatest way to accomplish this task.

The only thing I didn't like about it was...... I found a few items that had gotten away from me for, oh, about 3 years. How on earth did that happen!!!

I found some lovely borscht and decided that instead of the stir fry, supper tonight would be using up this frozen goodness before those containers got away on me.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Am I Developing A Green Thumb?

It seems that every spring I spend a small fortune on plants for my baskets and pots. This past growing season I decided to try and over winter a few plants to see if I could save a few pennies (well considering what plants cost, I should say a few dollars). I started small, cause if it didn't work I did not want to feel like a failure.

I brought in one of my most expensive plants.... To my utter horror, all the leaves fell off and I was left with brown sticks. Those sticks seemed to have some life left in them so I tenderly watered and made sure they were in whatever sunlight we get in the winter. My babying paid off.

See the pretty pink flowers and all the lovely green foliage!!! I may break down and buy another one of these next year and bring both in over the winter.

Next I made cuttings of some of the ivy growing in my pots. I rooted them in water and once they were rooted planted them in some pots and have managed to keep them growing through the winter.

They are coming along quite nicely.

While this does not seem like much by doing this I saved at least $20.00.

I will also be starting some seeds near the end of the next month. More savings!!!

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Menu Plans for the Upcoming Week

Time for me to post my menu plans for the upcoming week once again. Seems like these days arrive faster and faster each week.


Ham, rice, and yellow beans


Leftover ribs that I froze a couple of weeks back, leftover rice and peas


Spaghetti, meat sauce, and a salad


Pork stir fry over some type of pasta (I am thinking rotini)


Baked spaghetti and the leftover salad


German noodles and fried eggs, smothered in fried onions


I think that Harvey plans on buying Kentucky Fried Chicken, however if this does not come to pass and since Kris will hopefully be home I just might make a huge stew (lots of leftovers and hopefully enough for Kris to take some back with him).

Everybody have a wonderful evening. I am off to work on some knitting.

God bless.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Memories of Growing Up

Tonight I am going to share a couple of memories growing up with all of you.

For years I was an only child (okay for 4 years) and got all my parents attention. I received all the photo albums after my mother passed away and even more photos after my father passed away.

This picture of me has always hung in my mom and dads living room. Whenever I would ask if I could have it I was told not until they had died. Now I have it and am just waiting for Harvey to hang it up. Of course I have to find exactly the right place for it.

Notice the dress. In all my pictures growing up I was wearing either a dress or skirt set. Hmmm, could this be why I so enjoy wearing trousers now??? Dad did not believe that girls should wear slacks or jeans and it wasn't until I reached Grade 9 that I got my first pair of jeans. I thought Dad was going to have a heart attack as they had a zipper just like men's pants. He soon got used to it though as I lived in those jeans on the weekend.

This is a picture of the entire family on my Dad's side at my grandparents 50th Anniversary. The day we celebrated it a phone call came in from one of my Aunts who could not attend due to the fact she was expecting another baby at any time. Well the baby arrived on that day so as of 2 pm that afternoon I actually had 50 cousins!!!! Now I am pretty sure it is closer to 70. There are also lots of first cousins once removed. In fact I really don't know how many of those I have or how many first cousins twice removed. This was actually the first and only time many of us had met or gotten together.

One of my uncles is not in the pictures and another died at 4 months old. My Grandmother married my Grandfather at 15 and had 16 children, 15 of which lived to celebrate this happy day with them.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Saving Money In The Winter # 2

Here are a couple of more ways we save money in the winter.

In the spring and summer when we are working outside in the garden or yard, this first method is a bit harder. In the winter we really don't get very dirty.

During the winter we can usually wear our pants for two or three days with no problem. They don't get dirty cleaning the house and now that Harvey is no longer working covered in crude oil. Most times if I am subbing and need to wear dressier clothing I air out what I wore and wear the pants again the next day with a new shirt or sweater.

This saves on laundry costs as well so it is an all round winner.

Over the years I have learned something absolutely wonderful.

That is to cook once and eat twice. Usually the leftovers are served two days later. I heat the second meal up in the microwave thus saving electrical power as well as my time and energy. After all I would much rather be doing something crafty for gifts and saving even more money.

This method as well as having planned overs saves us grocery money and is very easy to do. Just plan your menu for the month and you are bound to find lots of areas where you can use planned overs or leftovers.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Saving Money In The Winter

One thing I have noticed over the years is that it is very easy to save money when the weather is nice, and laundry can always be hung outside.

Here on the Canadian prairies it is a bit harder to do in the winter.

One thing I have done to save a bit of money on drying clothes is have Harvey set up some drying rods and lines in our basement. This holds about 3 loads of our laundry so I am sorry to say the rest gets put in the dryer. I have an extra capacity dryer though so I can usually dry 2 loads of wash at a time. While this only saves around $3.00 a week, over the course of a winter the savings add up. I would estimate that we are saving $60.00 a winter at least, sometimes more.

Another way we save money is by watching our electrical usage closely.

Lights are turned off in rooms not in use. In fact we have electric heat in the back addition where the bed rooms are located (and my sewing/craft room) and the only room that we are heating right now is the bed room we sleep in. When Kris comes home we turn on the heat in the second bed room, but right after he leaves the heat is turned off. I must admit to turning the heat on in the sewing/craft room today, but I was spending loads of time in there and it was very cold. I am finished what I needed to do so the heat is off once again. I will more than likely turn it on again tomorrow as I need to work on another cloth for the school.

Our thermostat is turned as low as we can stand it. Believe me when it is freezing cold outside and the wind is howling around the eaves we are nice and warm. If we feel a bit chilly there are afghans and quilts to curl up in. We are not in the least uncomfortable. If we were the heat would get turned up (Harvey can not stand feeling cold).

Those are just three of the ways we save money in the winter. Tomorrow I will have a couple more ways to share.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Starting A New Project

Today I decided to start one of the tablecloths for one of the schools in our division, since I have to wait for embroidery floss for my machine to finish off the Girl Guide project.

First I pulled out this.

My Go Baby. This machine makes lovely 2 inch strips for quilting as well as small quilt squares. I was using it for strips today. Notice the green material sitting at the end of the table.

I placed each piece of fabric on the dye cutter.
Proceeded to put the cutting portion on top and sent it through the machine (I turn the handle to send the dye and top through).
Once the machine is finished I open it up.
And voila..... Six perfect 2" strips.

This is what I ended up with after spending 15 minutes cutting.
Hope to have a picture of the finished project tomorrow..... Or at least the start of the project (I could be getting ahead of myself here).

This used up some of my very large fabric stash and kept me busy enough with the planning and cutting that I did not miss not working full time.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Baby It's Cold Out There!!!

While yesterday was cold, today was bitterly cold. This is the temperature I woke up to this morning.
Yep, this thermometer, in a fairly sheltered spot, showed -30 C this morning. With the wind chill it felt like -43 C. Pretty darn cold and the coldest day we have had this winter.

The type of day that you stay in and get a bit of work done around the house.

So along with the usual Monday chores I managed to tidy up a couple of cupboards. The biggest job was the pantry.

Now if I can just keep it looking like this!!! Still have a few cupboards to work on, but tomorrow is still supposed to be a bit frosty so I know what I will be spending the morning on. As well as cleaning up the mess around the computer desk.

One good thing about this weather is that I am not wanting to get out and do recreational shopping. I am really trying hard to cut spending down as our power and gas bill is going to be horrendous for the next few months.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Menus For The Week of January 20th to January 26th

With grocery prices on the rise I thought I would start to share my menus with all of you again. It also keeps me on the straight and narrow.


Roast Pork Loin (leftovers bagged and frozen for another meal later on), leftover rice from 2 days ago, frozen beans from our garden, and leftover salad (we have been eating on this salad for 4 days now).


Steak in Mushroom Sauce, mashed potatoes, and carrots from our garden.


Tuna Casserole and cole slaw.


Leftovers from previous meals and the leftover cole slaw.


Smoked Sausage, baked beans and pasta.


Lazy perogies (layers of lasagna noodles with cottage cheese and mashed potatoes and cheese), lots of fried onions and a salad.


Turkey Vegetable Soup and Grilled Cheese Sandwiches (I have a workshop today and this can be pulled out of the freezer, heated and served).

Desserts will be Cherry Crisp (cherries from our trees), and pudding when the crisp runs out.

I just might change Tuesday and Wednesday around, but I am sticking as close to this plan as is possible.

Still have my cold and cough so comfort food is a must over this next week. I need fast and easy to prepare as well as inexpensive. Everything I am using is bought on sale and is part of my stock up from previous shopping trips.

I am trying to keep bills to a minimum and cooking from scratch helps with that every time. Not wasting food and packaging "planned overs" helps as well.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Quiet and Productive Saturday

Today has been just the kind of day I love. I did have a meeting to attend, but it only took about 45 minutes, and our next meeting will be by conference call. It is very cold here with the wind chill, but at least the sun is shining and the house was well heated by the south facing windows. It was the type of prairie day that makes you glad to be in a nice warm place.

This morning I worked on the Girl Guide project and got what I could done. I really need more white embroidery thread for my machine, but that will have to wait until the end of the month. I have 9 or 10 names yet to do.

Last night I tried a new recipe Chicken and Bow Tie Pasta. Turned out pretty darn good.

The recipe used up the leftover roast chicken from last Sundays meal and gave me enough to make up a frozen meal for Kris and leftovers for Harvey and I (might have to add other leftovers to make a meal, but that is not usually a problem).

Following my challenges to myself for this year I did not run out and buy the fresh mushrooms the recipe called for. Instead I opened a couple of cans that I had in the pantry and the recipe turned out just fine.

Supper tonight is meatloaf, mashed potatoes, and corn niblets. Using items from my freezer and pantry. Heck the corn is from our garden harvested, and prepared for the freezer in the fall. Inexpensive and filling meal.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Starting A Project

Today I started a project for our Girl Guide troop here in the city.

I hope they like how it is turning out.

The girls are making ponchos and on the pocket I have been asked to embroider the names. Under the name they are going to stencil a Trefoil. It took me awhile to figure out how big and how to embroider the letters on my machine, but I now have 6 of the 27 done.

It is something I can do for an organization that gave me so very much while I was a leader.

It is also something I can do sitting down as I still am running out of steam so very easily. Coughing and such does not seem to bother how the finished project comes out.

I have also stepped back from the church musical. I just don't think that I will be up to it this year.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Rough Week

Between being ill and our youngest, Kris, facing problems beyond our help in part, this has been a rough week so far.

If you remember, I mentioned that Kurt had bought me a special angel for Christmas this year because of all that has happened in my life.

You notice that the front of this special angel says "Comfort" and both Harvey and I have needed this often this week. Hopefully the worst is over for both myself and Kris. It is just a waiting game now.

As is often said "God never gives us more than we can handle." We have been drawing a great deal on our faith this past week and will continue to do so until everything is as back to normal as is possible.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God Bless.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Sickness Hits Me Big Time

The past week and a half I have been trying to fight off some kind of infection. Didn't happen! I kept telling myself that I did not have time to be sick..... That didn't work either. I even worked 4 days over the past two weeks in the school system. Hmmm, wonder why I couldn't fight it off, perhaps I was too busy trying to convince myself that I wasn't as sick as I am.

Tonight I was supposed to go to a meeting, well I phoned our priest and said I wouldn't be there. I have to get over this cold and if it means staying in more so be it.

This month I have had quite a few no spend days. That puts money back in my pocket, and helps our bottom line to no end. A good thing as we are helping out our youngest with a bit of a problem he has.

Tomorrow I will have a bit more money coming in as I have to do a mystery shop. My first, and I hope it goes well enough and I do a good enough job that I get more of these. Stay tuned, I will let you all know how it goes.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

A Project Finished and Another Started

Well, I got the baby afghan done!! This is in one of my challenges for this year. I challenged myself not to buy any more yarn and to finish some UFP's. This is the first one for the year. I made it with small balls of yarn from other baby projects and so it cost me very little to make (other than time). I managed to clear out the small balls of leftover yellow and green. Didn't quite use up all the pink, but I am very sure I will be able to figure out something to do with the small ball I have left. Perhaps some baby mittens!

This is another unfinished project. I was going to knit the men in my life sweaters for Christmas. Time got away from me and the pattern I had picked was not my favorite. I struggled with the first sweater for weeks and ended up ripping it back and finding a new pattern.

Now I plan on making Harvey, Kurt, and Kris sweaters for Easter. My evenings will be spent working on them. This is the first of the three, a lovely navy blue for Kris.

I am enjoying getting things off my white board, and looking forward to adding new projects to the list!!

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Anniversary and First Winter Storm of the Year

This was the world outside my door at about 10 this morning. The snow was starting to come down and beginning to be blown around.

This was the amount of snow that had built up in our doorway. Harvey went out just after this and shoveled it away. Cleared it all out.

After a day of blowing snow I decided to take more pictures.

Here is a picture of the driveway at around 5 pm.

And this is what the bottom of the doorway looks like.
This is after a couple of hours. Harvey cleared it out 4 times today. Wonder what we will find in the morning. This is our first storm of the year and I am so glad that I had no where to go today.

Yesterday was our 37th Wedding Anniversary and Harvey brought me roses once again. This time though there was a bit of a problem. When I took the roses out of the wrapping all the leaves fell off!!! I have never had that happen in all the times he has bought me flowers. My roses look naked without their leaves. I ended up just taking a picture or two of the flowers.

You can sort of make out their nakedness in this picture. Harvey was so disappointed in his purchase. I told him it was the thought that counts. The colour is beautiful though.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Frugal Is As Frugal Does

I have noticed in my many journeys through blog land that more and more bloggers are concerned with their finances. That's a good thing don't get me wrong, I am just as concerned. However some of the things that these other bloggers do worries me a bit.

I think that everyone has to find their own middle ground, in other words what they feel comfortable doing.

Me, I feel most comfortable trying to cut back on my bills. Not doing without. Freezing in my own home is something I would never do. I will however try and lower the thermostat a few degrees and still stay comfortable.

I won't give up my cable package as Harvey and I use it for entertainment. It costs much less to watch a movie on television and supply our own snacks than it does to go to the theater.

I will make my own clothes, gifts, and cook from scratch because that gives me pleasure and fills my evenings. Evenings usually find me sitting in my recliner knitting or doing some handwork like mending, darning or embroidery. I love seeing something magically appear beneath my hands.

I use up every portion that I possibly can from our meals and get satisfaction from the knowledge that the meal cost much less than a meal out.

We won't give up our vacations because everyone needs to get away sometime and where we live going away is the best way to maintain our sanity. Winters can be brutal here, and taking advantage of our short, hot summers makes them bearable.

We do have a budget and stick to it as much as possible. It really isn't difficult but we don't get too upset if for some reason we go over budget. Things happen, life goes on. One can always find a way to make up for the excess spending. Sometimes it just takes a bit of thinking outside the box.

Money is there for us to use, we just have to use it wisely. I hope we are doing so.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Monday, January 7, 2013

What Else Can I Get Myself Into????

Every second year my church puts on a musical and yours truly has acted and sang (as part of the chorus) for the last 3.

This year I got a phone call saying "I hope you are taking part once again. I have your part all ready for you." What is a girl supposed to say?

This years production is called .......

It looks to be a wonderful production.

This is the schedule of practices.

I seem to be busy every weekend until the show on March 1st and 2nd. Between practices and what we lovingly call "Dance Boot Camp" I don't seem to have much in the way of spare time.

Just one of the many (okay 6 songs) that I have to learn!!! Some of them by next week.

I could gladly do all this but.....for the first time ever I have a solo! Needless to say the thought of singing in front of hundreds of people has me a bit nervous. Now I not only have to sing with the group, dance with the group, act (at least two parts perhaps more....split personality or what) I have to actually sing all by myself. Mind you I sing as a camel, so perhaps it won't be too bad after all. One can hope.......

I love to sing, and Harvey says I am sounding better and better (hmmm, does that mean I used sound terrible?) but singing on my own has me really, really scared.

Here is hoping I don't make an utter fool of myself.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

It Isn't Hard

The last few years have seen us eating fast food or eating out less and less. When we do eat out it is usually with the use of a free meal card (we will be doing this for our Anniversary next week) or a coupon or two. This is a big money saver for the two of us.

Over the years I have found it less time consuming to make my own meals just the way I like. I know what we are eating and since I have a well appointed kitchen it just makes sense.

Today I threw everything into the slow cooker and made Sweet and Sour Chicken. I was missing one ingredient, plain vinegar but made do with some red wine vinegar and it turned out just perfect. Trying to follow those challenges I gave myself for the new year is starting a bit sooner than I thought it would. I used sale chicken breasts, chopped up green pepper from my freezer, frozen carrots from the freezer, an onion from the cold room and a package of spice mix from my pantry.

Then I pulled out this.

My trusty rice cooker that I got as a gift from Kurt a few years ago. The rice turns out perfect every time I use it....must remember to use it more often.

Supper was on the table on time and we have plenty of leftovers for another meal. I foresee a no cook day coming up next week.

The same meal would have cost us at least $18.95 each, and I made it for around $4.00 each. A savings of over $14.00 each. Much rather have that money in my pocket then lining the pocket of any eating establishment here in town.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Traveling Along Just Fine

Here it is the third day of the month and I have spent not a read cent. We are not deprived, not going without, and traveling this road quite well.

I do know that there will be twists and turns. Perhaps even detours, but together with a plan Harvey and I will make out just fine.

Over the last couple of days both have us have decided that the busier we are the less likely we are to want to spend money foolishly. We are extremely lucky in that we do not have a mortgage or a car payment. Being frugal for years paid off in no consumer debt. I have been reading lately that Canadians are getting more and more in debt.... Not going to happen here, we are bound and determined not to fall into the credit trap.

This does not mean we won't ever use credit, just that we will make sure that we pay off our bills every month and not over extend ourselves.

This year our big expense will be working on the basement. Harvey has started this already and hopefully other than the new furnace and duct work it is something he can do on his own. Keeps him busy and happy as well as out of my hair.

Me, well I will be working on getting my monies worth out of everything we buy and working on those set aside projects. Heck I may even find time to visit the library more often.

Being frugal does not mean doing without, it just means using what we have to the best of our ability and doing so in a smart and savvy way.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Starting The New Year Right

Today is the second day of the month and for the second day in a row I have had a no spend day!! I am hoping for at least 20 this month if not more. You see I count spending on bills, fuel, groceries and those planned expenses that you can't get away from, allowable spend. I am going to try and keep my allowable spend to only 6 days this month. That leaves me with 5 days..... I am hoping that those will be no spend as well, but things happen.

I spent most of today getting work done around the house, bread baked and going for a short walk. Didn't expect it, but I got a call from one of the schools today asking if I would please sub for the next two days. I said yes, mainly because money coming in is good, and it keeps me from spending in stores. I am hoping to hold off on any purchases until Saturday, however milk is getting pretty low.

I also worked on my knitting today. I am making an afghan for a good friends newest grandbaby. Grandbaby has not arrived yet, but I know it is going to be a girl. So I picked yellow, green and pink as the colours. I am using up the remains of some other baby projects for this (I always knew that those leftover bits would come in handy) before starting to use new balls.

I am using my favorite Feather and Fan pattern (I think another name for it is Old Shale, but I am not too sure). It is the same pattern that my Mom used for years and each time I knit it I feel very close to her. Heck I think I am still using some of her yarn!!

Then later I pulled out my cutting table and set it up in the sewing/craft room. I cut some old denim up into squares to use for quilting, and pulled out my Go Baby which was a gift from Harvey a few years ago. I am now cutting strips from small scraps of material (and some larger) to make another strip quilt later this winter.

I should be able to finish a few more strips tonight and then do more tomorrow. I do love this machine it makes the job so very much easier.

Supper tonight was leftovers from a meal earlier in the week. So a very frugal meal got used up and the salad I made last night graced the table once again tonight.

All in all an extremely frugal and restful day. I am actually keeping my challenges to myself and having lots of fun doing so.

Everybody have a wonderful day.

God bless.