Friday, January 30, 2015

Friday Frugalities

Sorry that I didn't post yesterday, but I had a conference call for a committee that I am on. It took forever to get everything settled and we had to postpone the big meeting until March due to the chairperson being gone when the date was first picked.

It has been a fairly frugal week, other than my visit to the dentist. I was to get my teeth cleaned and while undergoing that procedure....they found a cavity or two that need to be looked after as well. Why does this always happen?

Harvey has moved on to his next project on the house. He has decided that I need an easier access to the shelf over the stairs and this is his solution.

Right now and probably for a few days I will be living with a hole in my hall wall. He plans on cutting right through, extending the shelf and putting some lovely doors up. This will give me much easier access and the ability to store a few more small appliances. The best thing of all. He has all the items necessary to complete the project, nothing else will be purchased!!! Frugal fix.

I hated the sight of all the cords we use to charge the various phones, tablets, cameras, heating pad and camcorder lying around the one end table in the living room. In my mad decluttering I found a lovely basket.

Now the cords are in one container and not scattered all over the place. The twist ties do not seem to be working to gather the cords together so I am on the hunt for the bag of elastics I bought awhile back. That should do the trick nicely.

I also used two partial balls of navy to knit two pairs of slippers. I am trying very hard to use what I have and not waste anything. I hope to have pictures up tomorrow.

Used up all the leftovers in the fridge over the week. Really was lovely not to have to cook one night, just pop the leftovers into the microwave and supper was ready.

It was nice here this past week (not including today and yesterday) so the solar heat of the sun through our front window heated the whole house. Sure was nice not to hear the furnace running constantly. Saved a bit on heating and electrical costs.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Recipe Wednesday

I made a cherry crisp for dessert tonight (and probably tomorrow as well). There are hundreds of crisp recipes around so that is not what I am going to share with all of you. I am going to share my cherry pie filling recipe.

If any of you are lucky enough to have a cherry tree or two this is a wonderful way to use and store the fruit.

Cherry Pie Filling

8 cups of pitted cherries
2 cups water
2 cups of granulated sugar
6 tbsp Minute tapioca
1/2 tsp almond flavouring

Place all ingredients in large pot and stir as you bring to a boil over medium high heat. Pack into hot sterilized jars filling to within 1/2 inch of top. Secure lids. Process in hot water bath for 25 minutes. Makes 2 quarts or enough for two 9 inch pies.

I fill plastic containers, cool and then place in the freezer. I am lucky enough to have two freezers and one is for meat, the other for vegetables and fruit (bread and baking is stored in this one as well).

Tastes like a bit of fall.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Tuesday Thriftiness

Well, today can not be called my thriftiest day, as I had a dental appointment, but it is for days like today that I am as thrifty as I can possibly be.

We have finished painting our living room and dining room and the next few days will be spent getting it back together. As Harvey said we could have contracted the work out and spent well over $1,500.00 to get it done quickly (probably more as we have lots of taping that needed to be done and that adds to the cost) or spend a bit longer and live with a bit of a mess and get it done for $200.00. Guess which way we went? We would still have had to move all the furniture, and I mean all the furniture out for the painters and then would not have been half as comfortable as we were doing half the rooms, moving things back and doing the other half.

This also gave me a chance to do some decluttering, and deep cleaning. Win/Win, as far as I am concerned.

I have also been using up bits and bobs of yarn. I managed to get 5 small pairs of mittens out of a skein of light blue yarn (and a couple of small balls I had rolled up from knitting a baby sweater). I have now started knitting some slippers. I should be able to use up the navy yarn and perhaps get a couple of pairs of the smaller sized. I hate to waste anything and have a box that is full of yarn leftovers. Great way to finally get started on that extra income source I have talked about for years.

I am going to get some lovely small items made up for very little in the cost department. Perfect for those thrifty shoppers who are not knitters.

Being thrifty does not mean being cheap. It means using what you have to the best possible advantage.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Menu Monday

The house is topsy, turvey, due to the painting going on so the menu was adapted last week. Some of what we ate was to be this weeks meals so I will be doing a bit of changing around. You may see meals that were to be eaten last week down again this week.


Chicken in the Actifry, rice and leftover salad.


Meat loaf, mashed potatoes, green beans.


Soup and sandwiches (must remember to bring stock up from the basement freezer).


The last bag of leftover Ham made into something....just not quite sure what as of yet.


Glace and eggs


Pork chops, coleslaw, rice and corn.


Pork roast, roasted potatoes, roasted carrots.

The house should be back in shape by Friday so cooking will be easy once again.

Everybody have a wonderful day.

God bless.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Sunday Ramblings

Today was the Third Sunday in Ordinary Time and with it we once again heard the Nineveh story. However there was a slight twist today and an explanation I had never even thought about.

We all know that Jonah did everything he could not to follow God's request, what Father Brian explained was why! Jonah did not want the city to repent and he knew they would. He actually wanted God to punish them not forgive them for their transgressions.

Father Brian said if we understood this it would shake us up, make us think about forgiveness and how we forgive. Most of us hold grudges, don't let go of slights, and hurts. This is true and something I struggle with daily. We, according to Father Brian, don't really want to forgive.

I always thought I forgave people, but never really forgot what they did or said that hurt me, be it a total falsehood or the truth (cause you all know the truth can hurt). Today made me realize in order to really forgive a person must forget. The easy part is saying you forgive, the hard part is forgetting what you forgive them for.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Project Update Saturday

Today has been very strange weather wise for this time of year. We have been enjoying unseasonably warm temperatures and sunny weather for the last week. That ended abruptly today. I woke up to the sound of rain on the roof.... It is January and not the time of year that we usually get rain. This rain continued steadily until 4 or so this evening and then changed to large flakes of snow. The snow did not last long, however the temperature will drop to below freezing tonight causing very icy road conditions.

It was the perfect day to have this.

A large mug of hot chocolate and a bit of time to work on my various projects.

Just a few updates on projects that I have completed or worked on this week.

Look at how my angel is progressing.

Isn't she beautiful!! Still hoping to have her finished, washed, pressed and ready for framing by the end of the month.

I then sewed up some little mittens.

I had a skein and a few small balls left from another project and think I can get 5 pairs made. One pair is still on my needles.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Frugal Friday

It has been rather a quiet week here on the old homestead.

Of course, I have been doing my usual frugal habits. Keeping the heat down, turning off lights in rooms when no one is in said room, and turning the heat off on our really nice days (and we have had a few of them).

However that being said I did make one great frugal move this week.

As you all know we are painting our living room and dining room and in doing so cleaning and decluttering. I put our front, lined drapes into the wash, washed and rinsed them in cold (as I do for many loads) and hung them up to dry.

Harvey had complained that even though they were lined and insulated the gaps between the panels were allowing the cold air radiating through the window to enter the living room. Hmmm, I did not want to go to the expense of buying new drapes so I decided to sew the panels together leaving the center open.

It worked great, no more openings between panels when we close them at night. Just have to wait now and see if this makes a difference.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Thursday Tid Bits

I have spent much of today cleaning out cabinets getting ready for the next painting spree. Not many of the items on my to do list for today have been crossed off, however there is always another day.

I managed to pack up all I wanted to keep in boxes, and bagged many items to be donated. I am now up to 263 items either bagged up or tossed because they are no earthly good to anyone.

Here is my latest bag session.

This is the first session of going through items.

Here is the second.

The silk plants are a bit dusty so I will be giving them a shaking outside before packing them in my car to take to the donation bin.

I also tossed this aloe plant.

No matter what I did, no matter how many times I tried to get it to grow straight up, it wouldn't. I may try again as I love using the gel from the leaves on burns and cuts.

I believe I have now managed to clean out two rooms..... I am considering a couple of vases however. They could be the next things leaving the house.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Recipe Wednesday

Tonight I made Ham Pasties for supper. One of my favorite things to do with leftover cooked ham.

Here is a picture of the filling.

This was set to simmer for awhile to thicken up and then cheese was added.

Here they are going into the oven. I made them much smaller then usual.

The finished product.

For some reason they split open a bit I guess being made smaller they are harder to keep sealed when baking. I may have to go back to making them a bit bigger.

Here is the recipe.

Ham Pasties

1 tbsp oil
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup finely chopped red pepper (I used green pepper as I did not have red)
1/4 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp curry powder
1 1/2 cups chopped cooked leftover ham
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup finely chopped peeled potato
2 tbsp fruit chutney (mango is best)
1 1/2 tsp parsley flakes
1 tbsp tomato paste
1/2 cup shredded old cheddar cheese
1 package of frozen puff pastry thawed
1 egg
3 tbsp milk

Heat cooking oil in a large frying pan on medium. Add onion, red pepper, and garlic. Cook for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring often. Add curry powder and heat, stirring until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Add next 6 ingredients. Stir. Reduce heat to medium low. Cook uncovered, for about 30 minutes, stirring every so often until potato is tender and sauce is slightly thickened.

Stir in cheese. Let stand until cool.

Roll out 1/2 the pastry on a lightly floured surface to 1/8 inch thick. Cut into two 7 inch rounds. Keep pastry circles covered with a damp towel. Repeat with remaining pastry.

Combine egg and milk in a bowl, Brush edge of pastry with this mixture. Divide and spoon filling onto top half of each pastry circle. Fold bottom over and pinch edges closed to seal. Place the crescents on a greased baking pan. Brush with remaining egg mixture. Pierce tops of crescents 4 time with a fork.

Bake at 400 for 25 minutes or until golden.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Menu Monday

Ahh, another week, another menu. I actually did very well sticking to my menu from last week. Here is hoping for the same results this week.


Fresh Honey Garlic Sausage, pasta and carrots.


Leftover Ham from the fridge freezer. I am thinking of something along the lines of a pasty type meal. Think I will use pie dough rather than the dough the recipe calls for though.


I have a clean out the fridge night planned. However I am not sure if I will do this on this day or in fact today (Monday). I am working until 4 tonight and there is plenty in the fridge to clean out.... Could be a switch here.


We have not had a roast in so long that I think I will make one today. Make lovely mashed potatoes, and green beans to go along.


Perogy meal coming up.


I have an abundance of chicken wings that I would like to try doing up in my Actifry. I am sure I can find a recipe for them some where.


Roast Pork and all the trimmings.

Everybody have a wonderful day.

God bless.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Sunday Ramblings

This is the Second Sunday in Ordinary Time in the Church calendar.

Today the readings were all about listening for the Lord. Sort of, as Father Brian said, becoming introduced to God. Samuel heard God's voice and thought it was the voice of his master Eli. However Eli realized it was the voice of the Lord and told Samuel just to say "Here I am Lord, I'm listening." In a way Eli introduced God to Samuel.

Father Brian likened this to introducing our family to those we might know and they not know. It shows how important our family is. In this way God wishes to be introduced to us.

As usual Father Brian ended with a question. Today's question was "Who introduced you to God?" Very good question. I have been thinking about this most of the day and my answer would have to be my Mom first, my husband next and then of course the priests that I have worked with over the years. Truth be told almost everyone I have met in my life have introduced me to various aspects of God and our Savior. After all we are made in the image and likeness of God.

We taped the crown molding, chair rail, base board, windows and door today. Hopefully painting will continue tomorrow. I do have to work so I am not sure how much painting I will be able to do. Harvey will more than likely leave the chair rail for me.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Saturday Project Update

I am surprised, though I shouldn't be I guess. With the house being in such disarray I couldn't do much in the area of cleaning so I sat and worked on my various projects.

Look at how much of my cross stitch has been accomplished over the last week or two.

I am working on the wings right now, but once they are done I can back stitch the bird and the angel's face. An end is in sight!

I got a message on Facebook from a good friend asking me if I could knit her daughter a scarf. G is barely a year old, and such a sweetie I could not refuse. J sent me pictures of the winter snow suit she would like me to match and I came up with this.

I am perhaps half way done and if I work very hard I could be finished it by tomorrow night.

Then I sat and sewed a few seams on items I want to put up for sale.

These were made from some of the yarn I bought at our church rummage sale. A pair of pink mohair mittens, a head band and some fingerless mittens.

I had an extra ball of cream roving left after knitting a scarf (which still needs a bit of work) so I made this.

A hooded cowl suitable for a child from 2 to 3 years.

All these have been made with leftover skeins and balls of yarn. Boy am I glad that I save my leftovers from other projects!! Cost to make is minimal this way.

I am still working on a few items that I will hopefully finish this week. Now just to figure out prices.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Friday Frugalities

The end of a week, the beginning of a weekend. It is time to go over the frugal things I did this week. Some things worked and of course some things didn't.

The usual frugalities happened this week. I have stayed out of the stores, but will have to go out shopping tomorrow. I do find that staying out of malls, and our small Super Walmart saves me the most cash.  I try for at least 20 no spend days a month, and that is exactly no spend. Nothing, but nothing gets spent. In order to do this I combine my errands so that I do more than one thing on a specific spend day. Take for instance yesterday. I paid bills, bought gas, did some postal things, and got Harv's and my biweekly allowance out of the bank. That was my first spend day since Sunday. I really should have gone shopping, but starting tomorrow there are great sales so I put it off. This means 2 spend days this week, however out of the 16 days this month I will only have spent 4 so I am sitting at 12 no spend days. Pretty darn good.

I find it amazing how our south facing windows keep the house so warm during sunny winter days. Since noon today our furnace has only run  0 minutes. Yes that is right the furnace has not turned on since noon. It is now after 7 at night and still no gas is being consumed and no electricity being used to run the furnace. Great savings!!

I always wash and rinse what I can in cold water. All of my cold water wash is hung on the lines in the basement. This usually means I only have to run the dryer for two or three loads in a week.

All meals were made from items at home, in fact we actually used leftovers for two dinners and two lunches this week. Looking in the fridge tonight I can foresee another leftover meal tomorrow.

Harvey does most if not all of our maintenance around the house and yard. It was time to paint the living and dining rooms (we have an open concept home), and of course we are doing it all ourselves.

The paint was bought with a gift card and only cost us a few dollars over the amount on the gift card.

There is only one problem with doing things ourselves.....

I get to live with this.
Hmmm, this is causing me to panic a little bit and my OCD tendencies are starting to kick in. I keep telling myself that I can handle this for the next week or so (we will be moving some items back and others away from the wall as we make our way around the room). I don't think it is helping much, but I will handle it for as long as possible, reminding myself that the cost of doing this could be triple what we are paying.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Mid Month Update

Well it is time to update all of you on how my monthly goals are moving along.

1.     Organize kitchen. I have to move things around to have room to store my new appliances. Well, I have made a start on this. But it is a slowly moving process.

2.     Work on unfinished projects (this seems to be a reoccurring theme). Working on the unfinished cross stitch and I can actually see an end in sight. Perhaps not as soon as I would like but definitely in the near future.

3.     Copy and organize more recipes. Slowly but surely all those binders of recipes is disappearing and a nicely organized recipe shelf or two is evolving. This is actually done. I got through two binders and a soups and stews recipe book that Kurt loaned me to check. I only have a few binders left hopefully I will finish them all up in the next few months.

4.     Work on scanning all those loose pictures in containers and files. Not even close...However I may just be able to start this tomorrow providing Harvey does not need my help with painting. (Keeping my fingers crossed).

5.     Work on at least one quilt. (notice the "at least one", gives you a hint that there could be a few more that need working on.... More of those unfinished projects). Started making blocks for our bedroom quilt. However the sun has been shining and while the sun shines I will be working on my cross stitch.

So there you have it slowly but surely working through my goals.

Sharing a picture of some more items that will be leaving my home shortly. Two bags of books, old binders, and some candle holders.

I am up to just over 200 items, but I am running out of items in my living room and dining room to send bye-bye. Guess I will just have to move to another room or two.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.


Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Recipe Wednesday

I thought I would share a couple of recipes with you all today.

The first is my throw together from tonight.

Chicken and Noodle Casserole

1/2 cup sliced celery
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup diced green pepper
1 tbsp butter or margarine
3 cups cooked noodles
1 can of mushroom stems and pieces (or sliced)
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 1/2 cups shredded cheese
1 1/2 cups cooked leftover chicken, diced
Large sprinkle of paprika (I figure I used about 1/2 tsp)

Cook and drain noodles. Put in a casserole. Saute the celery, onion and green pepper in the butter until the onion is soft. Add to the noodles and mix. Add the mushrooms, the soup and 1 cup cheese. Mix again. Add the diced chicken and mix once more. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top and bake in oven at 350 for about 45 minutes.

Harvey really liked it. I think you could add pretty much any veggie you wanted to use up to this as well to stretch it out a bit more.

This is what it looked like going into the oven.

This is what it looked like after cooking.

Served with crusty bread and a tossed salad, it made a wonderful meal.

The second recipe is my no fail Cream of Mushroom Soup which we also had for supper and the leftovers for lunches a couple of days this week. Sorry no photo this time.

Cream of Mushroom Soup

1/4 cup butter or margarine
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 lb fresh mushrooms sliced
1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 to 1/2 tsp garlic powder or a minced garlic clove
1 cup beef stock
1 cup chicken stock
1 cup milk
1 cup heavy cream

Put butter, onion and mushrooms in a large pot. Saute onion until soft and clear. Add the flour, salt, pepper, and garlic. Mix in well. Stir in the beef and chicken stock. Stir in the milk. Heat and stir until it boils and thickens. Stir in the cream and bring to boiling temperature (but not boiling). Serve.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Tuesday Thriftiness

I have been buying ice cream in smaller containers lately, after all Harvey and I only eat a bit for desserts now and then. After we are done I have been washing the containers out.

They are made entirely of plastic and the lid fits nice and tight. Perfect for storing those leftovers in. I usually use a piece of masking tape and write what the container holds on it, placing the tape on the lid. These also stack very nicely in the freezer taking up much less room than some of my other recycled plastics. I am also not spending money on containers that have the lids break while residing in the freezer!!! I have discovered a few over the years that are destroyed after a few uses.

Still working on clearing out things we no longer use. Wow, how did I collect so much!! I have another 22 items to take to the Salvation Army thrift store. I go at hours the store is closed so I am not tempted to go in and do any shopping. I will post pictures before I take the next group to donate.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Menu Monday

I am doing not too badly on the cleaning items out of the freezers mode. The fact of the matter is I am not going to make any roasts (beef, pork, chicken or ham) until all the bits and pieces are gone. I think that could be the problem with the overstock of leftover roast meats residing in my fridge freezer. So far I have had no complaints from Harvey over the lack of a large Sunday meal.


Cream of Mushroom Soup and sandwiches. I have changed my mind a few times over the type of sandwich to have, but I am leaning towards egg salad to use up some older eggs.


Leftover chicken from the fridge freezer made into a lovely filling casserole of some type. I want to try something new here and perhaps share the recipe with you all if it is good. Served along with a salad.


Clean out those leftovers from the fridge!!!! Plan on using more salad to round this out.


Hotdogs, salad, and french fries.


Breakfast for supper. I think I will make Pancakes.


Dry ribs, rice and veggies. Perhaps another salad if there are any greens still in the fridge.


Leftover Beef Roast from the fridge freezer. Plan on making another filling casserole with this. Perhaps a Pot Pie.......

So there you have it. My cooking for the upcoming week.

Everybody have a wonderful day.

God bless.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Sunday Ramblings

Today is the Baptism of the Lord and this painting depicts this wonderfully.

Father Brian spoke about how Christ actually underwent three baptisms. Water, Blood and Holy Spirit. This makes so much sense now.

Christs first baptism was with water when John the Baptist baptized him. The Gospels say the skies opened and a dove appeared above him. During His time on earth Christ often talked about his second baptism and how he needed to prepare for it. The apostles did not understand until the Crucifixion and the curtain in the Temple was ripped in half from bottom to top. This second baptism, Father Brian explained was the one that opened up the Holy of Holies to end the separation between mankind and God. The third Baptism was one we all took part in, the descent of the Holy Spirit on all those who believe.  

Father Brian ended his homily today with the question "What does your baptism mean to you?" In thinking about this, my baptism means the first step in growing into community. It means that I am a member of God's family here on earth. It means that as a baptized person I need to be Christ's hands, his feet, and his eyes for my time here. I need to be what God is calling me to be.

While I may fail at this at times, I need to dust myself off and continue to do the best that I possibly can and to be the best me it is possible to be.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Interrupting My Regular Post

It was our 38th Wedding Anniversary today and Harvey surprised me.

He bought me these lovely flowers.

And then because they were not the usual roses he buys me, he bought me this to go along with them.

A bright pink succulent. This from a man who does not like plants inside the house!!!! Such a sweetie.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Frugal Friday

Frugal wise I am doing pretty well this week.

Between using items up, and finding recipes to make new and exciting meals I feel like I have done my best.

Blinds and drapes have been opened during the day to take advantage of the sun's heat and light. It is truly amazing how the south facing windows heat the whole house when the sun shines. The furnace hardly turns on at all during the day. As soon as the sun goes down the blinds and insulating drapes are closed to keep in all the lovely heat.

My meals have been planned around leftovers and what I have in my freezer, cupboards and fridge. Today, I went shopping and stuck to my list. This is the first time I have bought any real amount of groceries in two weeks. Even then my bill was not too high.

I have been using sample sized and hotel freebies for creme rinse.

Rinsed out bottles to get the last little bit of things like ketchup, dish soap, conditioner, and bath gel. In some cases there is enough left for two or three more usages.

I am wearing an apron when cooking to keep my clothing clean longer. I am finding if I do this I can wear my trousers for three days.

However I think I could use a full body apron or a couple more of these half aprons.

Lights are being turned off in rooms not in use.

I am also using up those bits and bobs of yarn knitting mittens and neck warmers (pictures hopefully tomorrow).

We want to paint our walls in the living room and dining room so purchased a pint of paint in one colour we are considering. Paid for that via a gift card so no money out of pocket!!

This is the colour I really like (don't know what that white dot is perhaps glare???). One pint gave this small wall two coats, so I am really hoping that Harvey likes it.... He does say it is growing on him, he would prefer a lighter colour.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Thursday Tid Bits

Today has been a rather blustery day here on the prairies.

This was taken by someone on the way to Regina. Visibility was almost nil when the wind gusts would happen.

A perfect day to stay safe inside and get some work done.

I decided that today I would clean out the china cabinet. After 3 hours washing everything, drying everything it was done. I also got a lovely boxful of items to recycle to those who can use them.

Notice even more wicker baskets..... Where on earth do I get all of them from? There are another 25 items in here and hopefully they will be joined by even more when I clean the curio cabinet.

Supper was very simple tonight. Hamburgers and french fries according to what Harvey wanted.

My Christmas gift from Harvey got another work out. I love this appliance. It is an ActiFry by TFal and only uses a spoonful of oil to get lovely crispy fries. The hardest part of the whole thing is drying all the potatoes after cutting and washing them. Best of all because you use so little oil, they aren't as bad health wise as making them in the oven, much crispier as well. Frugal as well as the appliance plugs into an outlet!!!

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Recipe Wednesday

Today I am going to share a couple of the recipes that I have made this week. One is new and used up the last package of frozen leftover pork in my freezer. The other is an old stand by for using up leftover ham.

Pork Jambalaya

2 - 3 cups chopped leftover pork roast
32 oz chicken broth
1 cup water
2 cups sliced celery
14 oz diced tomatoes
1 tsp salt
dash hot sauce
1 1/4 cup rice
3/4 cup chopped onion
2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp thyme
2 tsp garlic
1/2 tsp pepper
2 bay leaves

Combine all ingredients in a dutch oven. Bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to simmer. Simmer 45 minutes or until rice is cooked. Remove bay leaves before serving.
This made a lovely large batch. Harvey and I each had a serving and the remainder (shown here) was packaged and put in the freezer for another meal later on.

Scalloped Potatoes and Ham (sorry no picture, I forgot)

4 large potatoes
1/2 large onion sliced
2 cups diced leftover cooked ham
1/4 cup butter or margarine
4 heaping spoonfuls of flour
2 cups milk (perhaps a tiny bit more)
1/2 tsp pepper

Cook potatoes in microwave for 5 minutes. Cool, peel and slice. Place a layer of potatoes on bottom of casserole. Layer sliced onions on top. Place diced ham on top of onions and cover with a layer of potatoes.

Melt butter or margarine in microwave safe measuring cup. Add flour to make a thick paste. Mix in pepper and milk. Put measuring cup into microwave and heat for three and a half minutes stirring three times.

Pour this thickened mixture over the layers in the casserole. Cover. Place casserole in microwave and cook for 5 to 7 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

You can have this meal on the table in less than 30 minutes.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Tuesday Tidy Up

Once again it is bitterly cold with that darn wind chill. It is at times like this that I would love to move to a warmer climate. Then I remember that I probably would not get to see snow, and that would be a waste of something God gave us to enjoy!!! It's just that he could turn the thermostat up just a tad.

Today Harvey and I have spent cleaning the storage room in the basement, and I have cleaned the microwave cupboard and the shelving unit the television sits on in the living room.

Some items were tossed as they were no earthly good for anyone (makes me wonder why we were saving them) and others were put in boxes to be taken to the Salvation Army tomorrow.

Three small boxes full of items, and the bigger items are downstairs waiting to be brought up tomorrow. Once these are out of the house I will have donated or gotten rid of 50 items. That's right, 50 and I have only been decluttering for 3 days. Still loads to go through and some that we put aside today will be gone through later.

I even found a new blanket for our bed (the other was getting very thread bare). I knew I had another I just did not know where I had put it!!!

Later in the afternoon I pulled out this book.

Just for another look through. It has been awhile and I really only skimmed through it the first time.

Wow, I knew vinegar was great, but I did not realize it could be used for so many things. I do use it to damp mop all my floors between regular scrubbing, use it to clean my coffee pots and iron, to polish my taps, as well as for cooking. This book however lists many more uses.

In reading the section on vinegar I found out that putting some on a cotton ball and holding it against a bruise will help heal it faster (I am always bruising myself so I am definitely trying this one) and it can be used to clean the keys on the computer keyboard. Hmmm, I think that I got a brain wave at this point.
You really can't see it but this remote is really dirty. I poured some vinegar in a small bowl, got the Q-tips out and went to work.

It was dirty work, and it isn't as clean as I would like it, but I decided to do the Surround Sound remote as well.

Much cleaner and I think with one more going over tomorrow they will be perfect, and I will feel much better about using them.

There are a couple more uses for vinegar I am going to try and then if they work I will share them with you. Heck I may try all 173 uses. If even half of them work I will be saving money and leaving a much greener footprint.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Menu Monday

The first full week of the year and amazingly I have my menu all planned out.... Well, kinda, sorta.


Leftover Pork Roast. I will be hunting through some cookbooks looking for something new, or something I have only tried once.


Clean out the fridge night. We will be using up the Taco Bake I made. I also plan on making Kris a TV dinner out of it. There is lots!!


Leftover Ham. Once again I will be on the hunt for something new to try.


Hamburgers, and french fries. Kind of a fast food night without all the grease and bad for you food.


I am going to use up the trout fillet in the freezer (or at least half as it is rather large). I will be making Maple Glazed Salmon and serving it with rice and peas or carrots.


This is our anniversary (we will have been married 39 years) and providing the weather is not bad perhaps we will go out and dine. If not Sausage is on the menu.


A roasted Ham sounds pretty darn good. Not sure what veggies I will make with this, but I am hoping that brussel sprouts is one of them.

Everybody have a wonderful day.

God bless.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Sunday Ramblings

This Sunday is the Feast of the Epiphany of The Lord. The day the wise men came bearing their gifts for our Savior.

We made it to Mass today even though it was and still is bitterly cold. I am so glad that we did. Father Brian stressed that Christ was first and foremost a Jew, that He came in fulfillment of the prophesy given to the Old Testament prophets. If we ever forget this we are twisting our faith into something that it is not.

Father Brian repeated something that every Pope has said for the past 50 years. The gist of it being that we as Catholics are Judaeo-Christian, our faith is forever grounded in the fact that Christ was a Jew, that Mary his mother, whom he gave us to be our mother is Jewish as well.

I can remember a talk we were having at Youth Group one night and I mentioned that Christ was a Jew and one of the youth said, "Really, I thought he was Catholic?" This lead to a further discussion and Father Brian coming in to speak to the youth. It was a lively discussion to say the least, but I am definitely sure that everyone went home with a better understanding of our faith.

Tonight I tried a new recipe....

I made this Taco Bake. I think it needs a bit more seasoning, but all in all it wasn't too bad. Lots of leftovers so we will be having another meal later this week. I may even have enough left to make a TV dinner for Kris.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Week In Review

This week has passed by very quickly. I am amazed at how quickly looking back.

Trying for zero waste this year and today was one of getting that started.

I had 4 over ripe bananas that neither Hubby or I would touch so I decided to make Banana Bread for the freezer.
Now there was a time that I would have said.... "Ewww," and just thrown them out. What a waste of good food. I don't know when we will consume this loaf, but I do know that well wrapped and in the freezer it will keep for a long time.

I also had one apple that had been in the crisper for a bit of time (probably a month). I checked it out and the apple was still firm. What to do...... I cut the apple in half, cored it and sliced thinly. Pulled out the trusty dehydrator and......

Voila, now that they are dry I have a nice small bag of apple chips to have as a snack some evening. Once again there was a time I would have thought to myself that it was only one apple and chucked it in the garbage bin.

I spent part of this week (the cloudy days) working on my new quilt. I now have 6 blocks done and almost a 7th. Hoping to get more done in the coming week. I will share pictures as they are completed.

Today for the first time in a bit I pulled out this.

I worked on it for about an hour as the sun was shining in the front south facing window. I will more then likely be working on this project anytime the sun shines, saving the quilt for those cloudy days.

I have also been busy knitting during our long winter evenings. I want to start a blog showing my handicrafts and perhaps listing them for sale.

These are the projects that I have mostly completed this week. They do need to be sewn, and the ends woven in.

I have the start of a pair of mittens on my needles right now. I so wish I could knit on double pointed needles, but I need loads of practice.

The good thing about knitting small items to sell is that it is using up all the odd leftover balls of yarn from previous projects. Keeping my no waste year going in all areas of my life.

I have also been busy with one of my monthly goals.

Busy copying recipes from one of the many binders of saved recipes..... Almost finished another binder. I am not sure I like these bright pink index cards, and the pen I have been using is blue so I do not for the life of me know why it is showing up red!! I would go blind trying to read them if that was so.

Cleaning and the usual chores have taken up the rest of my days. In cleaning I set up a donation box and today two items reside in it. Hopefully more will join as I am going to try and divest this house of at least 500 items this year. Perhaps more if I am very diligent.

I am also trying my best to get through the book "Eat, Pray, Love". It just is not catching my fancy right now. Thank heavens the chapters are short!!!

So that has been my week. How are you all doing?

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.