Saturday, February 28, 2015

Saturday Project Updates

I have spent much of the week scanning Kurt's pictures in order to burn them to a DVD. I was finished this morning so this afternoon I set about doing just that. Got the DVD's burned. Then I went downstairs to find the next set, our daughter's photo albums to start those......

I was wrong, there are still lots of photos of Kurt that could be done. Guess I will have to start the next series of his photo's next week.

On the other hand I have finished a bit of knitting. The items need to be sewn up yet, but here they are.

This will be a lovely, chunky cowl once sewn up.

A pair of size 8 black mittens.

A pair of x-large black slipper for Kris. He requested these the last time he was home.

And lastly.....

What will be a lovely headband to keep someone's ears toasty warm.

So as you can see I have been using up those partial balls of yarn. Hopefully more will be used up over the next week.

 Now for how I did on my goals this month.

1.     Organize kitchen. I have to move things around to have room to store my new appliances.  For the most part this is done. I do have a couple of things I would like to finish organizing (recipes for one) but they will have to wait until my picture scanning is done.
2.     Work on unfinished projects (this seems to be a reoccurring theme).  Worked on the angel cross stitch and completed it. Started the Dragon cross stitch and am slowing getting through it.

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.  Done. I have a couple more binders and some loose pages to get through hopefully what is left can be finished very soon. Well at least once the picture scanning is over with.

4.     Work on scanning all those loose pictures in containers and files.  Worked on this and I am slowly getting things done. It is going to take a couple of months so this will be an ongoing challenge for the next while.

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).  Worked on during the cloudy days, but need to continue with this.

Overall not too bad, but I will be continuing with a few of these next month.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Friday Frugalities

It's Friday and I get to more or less relax for the remainder of the week!! If there is such a thing as relaxing when you have a home to declutter and a man to look after.

This week was fairly frugal. Saving money on bills and our spending has been our main focus, however some of the things we implemented will not show anything for at least a month or two. Keep your fingers crossed for us that we will see a lowering of our power bill in two months time.

Frugalities for the week have included as usual combining of trips with the vehicle, no spend days and using leftovers for other meals.

Since it has been sunny the past few days the blinds and drapes have been opened up during the day to take advantage of all the lovely heat and light given off by the sun. Blinds and drapes have been closed as soon as the sun starts going down to keep the heat in.

Harvey is researching a change in television providers to see if we can get some savings there as well.

I have been repairing zippers in coats, darning socks, and planning out projects to use up some of my fabric and yarn stashes. Moving right along in those areas.

How have you been frugal this week?

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Thursday Tid Bits

While it has been cold outside I have been sticking close to home and working on various things around the house.

This week it was time to clean the dreaded drawers in the bathroom.

Finished project looks like this.

This is what is left in Harvey's drawer.

This is my drawer after cleaning. I don't wear makeup very often any more and this drawer was packed with old items.

Many of these items were 4 or 5 years old. Not wanting to run the risk of an eye infection due to contaminated product, I thought it best to toss it all and start over. I will be replacing a few items, but never again am I going to allow a mess like this to occur.

I also baked bread this week.

The yeast is working for awhile in the bottom of my bread maker. Since I started doing this my bread has turned out beautifully every time.

I am still scanning pictures and am beginning to feel a bit guilty. Can anyone tell me why the more children you have the fewer pictures you take? We have loads of photos of Kurt, but very few in comparison of Kris.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Recipe Wednesday

Today I am going to share my quiche recipe from yesterday with all of you.

Pastry for 9 inch pie shell
1 tbsp oil
1/2 cup thinly sliced onion
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
1/2 cup chopped red pepper (I used a can of mushrooms instead)
3/4 cup chopped cooked leftover ham
1/2 cup grated Gruyere cheese (I used a mixture of shredded Italian cheese)
3 large eggs
1 cup milk
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 tsp pepper

Put pastry into a pie plate after making it (you could use a purchased one).

Heat cooking oil on medium. Add onion. Cook 5-10 minutes, until onion is softened (stir often). Add green and red peppers. Heat and stir for about 3 minutes until softened. Cool.

Sprinkle onion mixture, ham and cheese over bottom of pie shell.

Beat remaining 4 ingredients in a bowl. Carefully pour over the ham mixture. Bake at 350 for 50 to 60 minutes on the bottom rack of oven, until filling is golden and set. Let stand for 10 minutes. Cut into 6 wedges.


Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Thrifty Tuesday

Another thrifty day here on the old homestead.

I finally managed to get out for my early morning walk, free exercise and lots of fresh air. I feel so much better now. I was becoming claustrophobic being inside all the time, but when it is -46 C out walking is just out of the question.

I scanned pictures, baked bread, and used up lots of items from the fridge. Perfect day as far as I am concerned.

Best of all I stayed out of the shops for another day!!! No money spent which is a very good thing.

Tonight I made a quiche using up some of the ham I packaged and froze from our Sunday dinner. I picked the smallest package of ham I had.

The package only had three slices of ham. Sure they were thick slices, but I was worried that I might not have enough as Harvey and I both like a meaty quiche.

I cooked up the last green pepper, a thinly sliced onion and since I didn't have any red peppers I added a can of mushrooms. Just sauted them until the onion was limp and slightly golden.

Sprinkled the chopped ham and some cheese in the bottom of the pie crust. Since I did not have the cheese called for I used the last of a bag of shredded Italian cheeses I had. Put the sauted veggies on top, and poured the milk, eggs, sour cream (beaten together) along with a bit of pepper over top.

Popped it in the oven.

And this is what emerged after baking. Yummy!!! There is enough left for lunch tomorrow.

Amazing what a person can do with three slices of ham. Truth be told there is even a small piece of ham left, enough for a sandwich (if I use a bun or if I thinly slice the ham bread).

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Menu Monday

The end of February arrives, but does it bring gentler weather with it? Not here that's for sure. Freezing temperatures and high winds mean more hearty and filling meals around the old homestead for a while yet.


Steak done in the roaster oven, mashed potatoes, and the last of the leftover salad.


Leftover Ham packaged from Sunday supper. I am thinking it is time to try a new recipe for leftover ham this week. Stay tuned as to what it will be. It will need to have asparagus in it to use up whats left before I lose those stalks.


Hamburgers and fries. This should clear out the last of the ready made patties.


Clean out the fridge night. We will eat up leftovers this evening.


Think I will make the Glace that we did not have last Friday. Kris should be home providing the weather is good and he really does not enjoy fish very much.....


Pork chops, mashed potatoes, salad, and corn.


I plan on warming up some of the packaged meat in the fridge freezer and serving it with gravy, mashed potatoes, and green beans.

Everybody have a wonderful day. God bless.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Sunday Ramblings

The day did not start off very well. I woke up with the beginnings of a lovely migraine and after checking the weather I knew why. It was extremely cold here.... -36 C and with the wind chill it felt like -46 C. Not fit weather for man or beast, I am just hoping that Kris stayed in and kept warm today.

I have spent a great deal of time thinking about my Lenten journey this year and what God is calling me to do to make myself ready for Easter. I might just have figured it out finally. My prayer life has not been up to par lately and after Father Brian's homily I think God is asking me to spend a bit more time in prayer and meditation. So this is what I am going to do. No giving anything up, rather more talking to God and listening for answers.

Here is what our day looked like.

Very deceiving as while the sun was shining and everything looked nice and calm things were not. Staying in was our best call.

So, what did I do? Well I scanned more pictures finishing off one set. I went through the next set.

These are pictures of the youth and our travels back when I was youth coordinator of the parish. I got rid of doubles, got rid of those that were too blurry or dark and now I am ready to start scanning these. As neither of the boys will want a copy of this set I will immediately burn 2 DVD's. One for the safety deposit box and one for here at home. I do have another batch of loose photos that I found so I will look through those for anymore.

I also finished the tablecloth for the school and will take it tomorrow to measure the sides. I have a feeling I will need to hem a bit more. Then perhaps some gold embroidery or ribbon trim.

I finished a book today as well and pulled out another to start.

I do enjoy Faye and Johnathan Kellerman mysteries. I hope this is a good one.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Saturday Project Updates

Really, I honestly have been working on my various projects. I have knitted a pair of mittens, a pair of slippers and I am half way through a head band. I worked on my dragon cross stitch and even done some sewing. I just have no pictures to post.

The project I have seemed to spend the most time on this past week is scanning pictures into the computer.

I have actually managed to go from two plastic boxes of loose pictures to one. Then I found this one.

This box contains older pictures from my parents albums. I may be asking relatives for help in figuring out a few of them.

I have also spent much of the last few days praying for my Uncle Ed.

Uncle Ed is in the last stages of Alzheimer's and the family is sitting vigil at his bedside right now. Uncle Ed is married to my favorite Aunt (Dad's sister) and I have always thought of him as a kind and gentle man. My heart goes out to the family and it makes it difficult to think of anything else. If you have it in your heart could you say a prayer for him and the family.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Friday Frugalities

This week has been one of honing our frugal habits, or perhaps I should say getting Harvey to develop a few more.

He spent much of this week installing and programming our various thermostats. We still need to do our main one, but are holding off as when the sun is shining the furnace hardly ever cuts in. The other three are now programmed and hopefully saving us electrical use and therefore Harv's hard earned pension.

I also started on the Lenten table cloth for one of the schools. I managed to buy a lovely sheet set for less than buying the fabric and am refashioning this into what I need. I will even have some left with which to do quilting or even use in making clothing. Just wish they would have had the right green in a sheet set, but no such luck.

After defrosting the freezer this week and having to throw out some mystery meats (I could kick myself), I made an inventory of what is in the meat freezer and plan on using items up a bit quicker. The inventory is actually sitting on top of the freezer along with a pen so I can make notations easier.

This is my serger....when it decides to act up.

This is me opening it up to try and figure out what is going on.
This is also when I realized the bottom looper was not threaded properly anymore. I decided to rethread the looper...... Did not work.

Finally pulled out the manual and realized that one needed to rethread the whole thing. According to them the bottom looper must be threaded first.

First the bottom looper......

Then the top looper.....

Lastly the needles. All I can say is thank goodness for pictures and a long handled tweezers!!

However after all this I figured I would leave the sewing alone for awhile, before I made a big mistake. Really all I have left on the table cloth is a narrow hem and perhaps some trim to make sure it is the right size.

We were also lucky this week in that we managed to use up most if not all our leftovers. I really need to learn how to cook for two instead of 4. Mind you it does save me time and money in the long run.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Thursday Tid Bits

The weather has been so changeable lately that I have not been getting out much.

Today though I did go and visit an old friend and we had a lovely visit getting caught up on all the news in both our families. I have promised to visit again in a few weeks as my friend is very much housebound, something I did not know until very recently.

This not getting out is helping me a great deal in getting my goals for this month done. I was a bit worried I would not get all the pictures scanned in but the way things are moving along I might just manage to do so by the end of the month after all.

These two boxes were full of pictures and now I am almost at the point that the pictures could all fit in one box. I am hoping to be even further ahead by the weekend. I may even have some DVD's burned and ready to give Kurt and Kris!!!

Harvey and I talked and perhaps the most important things we have are our photo albums. Eventually I want to scan them all into the computer, burn DVD's and store them in our safety deposit box as well as give copies to our sons. I never want to lose the pictures we have of Krista or the boys growing up and this seems to be the best way of going about that.

Frugality wise things are the same as always. I cooked the Baked Spaghetti in our electric roaster oven and it turned out very nicely. Now that I know this, just by adding a bit of time to the cooking I can use this appliance a bit more often and perhaps save a bit on electrical costs.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Things Are Moving Right Along

No recipe to share with you today but I do have some news.

So far it seems as if the energy changes we have made are making a difference, even if it is only a little. Every little bit counts when an electric bill is close to $500.00 for an estimate.

I have also been busy scanning pictures over the last few weeks and putting them in folders to burn to DVD's.

I am really enjoying looking at all the old photographs of my children. Some of these came from my parents and some came from my in laws.

Here is one that makes me smile.

It's a bit faded in one corner but it is one of just a few that I have of all three of our children. Kurt is the oldest, then our little angel Krista and the small chubby cheeked toddler is Kristopher.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Too Tired

I am just plumb tired out tonight so I will catch up with everyone tomorrow.

Off to bed now and I sure hope I feel better tomorrow.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Menu Monday

My menus were switched around a bit last week so this week I am hoping to get back on track.


Spaghetti, meat sauce, garlic bread and salad.


Leftover Chicken made into something awesome (I am going to find something new in one of my books), the leftover salad will be perfect with whatever I choose to make.


Baked Spaghetti. This should use up the leftovers from Monday. Once again I will add garlic bread to the menu.


Clean out the fridge night. Should be lots of leftovers available to be used.


German noodles (aka Glace) served with eggs, potatoes and onions.


Sausages. I am just not too sure how I will make them. I am getting a bit tired of the casserole so I will be searching for something new.


Roast Ham, rice, peas and carrots, sliced raw veggies and dip (though this could change to a coleslaw).

Hopefully this will be followed closely this week. I do need to use things up badly.

Everybody have a wonderful day.

God bless.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Sunday Ramblings

Today was the Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time, and the Gospel was Jesus curing the leper. Father Brian spoke in his homily about the leper not doing as Christ asked. How instead he became an Evangelist telling everyone (not just the priests) about his healing. The majority of the homily was how if we just become a parish, doing what is best for our community, only worrying about our community we will become a dead community. God wants us to reach out to others, just like the leper, and just like Christ.

I have always wondered if living a life of faith, doing as Jesus would do and living out my faith day to day is enough. Perhaps it is my guilty conscious, or that guilt we seem to be imbibed with that made me feel Father Brian was looking straight at me during his homily. I will need to pray and see if God is leading me elsewhere and if there is something else I need to be doing.

Today I have been continuing my experiments in alternative cooking methods. I pulled this out.

The chicken I made was nice and juicy, but I am going to have to add the veggies a bit sooner. I ended up finishing cooking them in the microwave. Still supper was ready on time and was nice and filling.

Now an update on my monthly goals.

1.   Scan those pesky pictures.  I am working on this and can you believe it, while cleaning out another closet I found even more pictures. This could take another month.

2.   Declutter at least another 100 items from the house.  So far I have either bagged or tossed 28 items. I should be able to expand on this once I start on my closet and drawers in the next week or so.

3.  Work on dragon cross stitch (another unfinished project from many, many years ago). There really isn't that much left to do and I got all the floss ready to go. Except for the white, I may need to purchase this as for some reason I used it all up on the angel.  I have worked on the dragon cross stitch when it is sunny. Considering the storms and cloudy days we are having it isn't as often as I would like

4.   Work on quilt and get the top finished.  Not even thought about as of yet. Hopefully I can get started on this shortly. Well as soon as I possibly can at any rate.

Everybody have a wonderful evening. 

God bless. 

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Saturday Update

Since I was subbing all week I did not manage to get much accomplished on my dragon cross stitch. I did however finish up a few small knitting projects.

Three more pairs of mittens all in pink and all size 4.

I then moved on to these.

Three pairs of pink slippers. Two in extra small and one small.

I also started some black slippers to give to Kris as he requested a pair. Those are almost finished as well.

Harvey finished my hall cupboard and this is how it now looks.

The middle shelf slides in and out for easy access and the top shelf now sports a lazy susan so I can make use of the entire space. So much better organized now!!

Today Harvey started and finished another small project.

The installation of a thermostat in our bedroom. We can now control the heat much better and perhaps even lower our bills a bit further.

I made bread today and because of it being Valentines day made these lovely heart shaped cakes.

Yummy. They will be served with a butterscotch sauce as a bit of a pick me up tonight. Of course being the thrift person I am I packaged up 4 and put them in the freezer to use for other nights as a treat.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Friday Frugalities

Today has actually been full of frugal savings.

I had a free breakfast as school of pancakes, eggs, juice and muffins. Then there were various treats throughout the day! I even got to bring half a dozen muffins home. Each muffin was placed in an individual freezer bag.
This will give us a few lovely snacks for the upcoming week.

Then I bought a rotisserie chicken for our supper tonight (not really frugal, but since I was shopping a good deal). The leftovers were frozen for future meals which does make this a frugal alternative to ordering pizza or something similar.

I packaged up the leftovers (this is one package of the two I froze) and put them in the freezer. I also packaged up the carcass to use for stock. This should give us a few more meals, and make this a frugal over all purchase.

Harvey bought another thermostat for a baseboard heater downstairs. We have another bedroom down there and this will be installed to have some more control over the heat given off from it. He is actually thinking of getting one for the hall way which could be a great idea if it works. We could then get rid of the oil heater I have in there right now.

The rest of the week was filled with the usual frugal activities around here. We are trying to save money for a Med cruise so every little bit helps.

Both Harvey and I are a bit disappointed. Kris is unable to make it home this weekend (it is even a holiday weekend) as he is feeling unwell. I do believe that Kris is disappointed as well. He loves to fish and they were planning an ice fishing excursion. Hopefully Kris will feel better and get down yet this winter.

Everyone have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Thursday Tid Bits

Only one day left of my subbing gig this month, and so far only one day booked next month. I could end up having a lovely rest and getting things done around the house. Perhaps even get a bit more work done decluttering which has sadly fallen to the wayside this month.

I did manage to go through all my cross stitch magazines and surprise, surprise I only found one double issue.

It's the one sitting all by itself. This will be going to another home shortly.

I have also found something I would really like to do for next Valentines Day.

Aren't these tiny hearts cute!! I can see all sorts of ways to use them, just don't have time or the right yarn to make them this year.

Harvey has finished the cupboard. He added a pull out shelf for me which will make reaching the middle shelf so much easier. I have started to put the items away, but I am on the look out for something to organize my many freezer containers. I hope to be able to finish it up this weekend while the men are out fishing.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Recipe Wednesday

Sorry, no recipe to share with you today. I do however have some pictures of three of my recipe books that I use a great deal.

The book on the left is one of a series of cookbooks that I have been collecting for awhile. Company's Coming is a big seller in Canada and all of her recipes use easy to find ingredients. This one is a part of my Planned Leftovers cooking.

The middle one was given to me by the lady I boarded with while attending university. It is another planned leftover cookbook. While the ingredients are a bit harder to find I have tweeked a few of these for our tastes.

The Quick Thrifty Cooking is a book I picked up at a yard sale, mainly because it reminded me of the cookbook we sometimes used in my Home Economics classes in high school. The recipes are hearty and tend to make enough for freezing a portion for another meal or two later on. It is also full of variations on the recipe and frugal, thrifty tips.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Thrifty Tuesday

Perhaps one of the thriftiest things I do is pack a lunch when I work.

This is an image of my exact lunch bag. I love it!! I fill it with all sorts of good food from my own fridge.

Today, for example, I took my leftover supper from Sunday. That was the remainder of my baked potato and my slow cooked pork chop. I added a container of salad, a small container of dressing, 2 kiwi, and a container of yogurt (from a bigger container). I also threw in some crackers and cheese for a snack!!! So my lunch cost me pennies and was a great deal healthier than anything I could have went out and bought.

So what's my packed lunch for tomorrow?

Leftovers from supper tonight, along with more salad, some dressing, yogurt, kiwi, and of course some crackers and cheese for my afternoon snack.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Menu Monday

Hey Ho, another week of menus. Just one slight problem, I forgot that I was working all this week when I made the menu up so this means changes. I am usually very tired when I get home from a subbing gig so easy meals and digging into my cache of frozen meals is usually called for.


Leftover Tuna Casserole, and the remains of the salad.


Leftover Chili on pasta.


Pork Jambalaya from the freezer downstairs.


Soup and Sandwiches.


Trout and fries and probably sliced raw veggies and dip.


Spaghetti and meat sauce, garlic bread, and a salad.


Roast Chicken (did not make this on Sunday of this week), mashed potatoes, gravy, peas and carrots and the remainder of the salad.

Everybody have a wonderful day.

God bless.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Sunday Ramblings

Once again the weather has been terrible this weekend. Rain, ice pellets, and snow. Not my favorite winter weather at all.

Harvey finished my storage cabinet yesterday.

This picture was taken just before he tightened the hinges to close the gap between the doors. I will be moving some of my larger small appliances into this area as well as a couple of appliances I don't use very often. It will mean a bit of climbing onto a stool to reach things when I need them, but the extra space is welcome.

Mass today was once again about the teachings of the church and how the Easter Vigil is the most important part of the church year. We also learned a bit about what RCIA really is. I just love when Father Brian uses his homily as a means of passing on truths about the church. Sometimes what we believe is not really what the Church teaches and having the priest be willing to take the time to explain things is wonderful.

I work all next week and I know that a full week of work usually leaves me tired and out of sorts. I really don't like coming home and cooking a full meal so I have been making double batches of easy to prepare meals when I got the chance this week.

The Tuna Casserole leftovers will be pulled out and used for our supper tomorrow.

Yesterday I made this huge pot of chili. It gave us our supper yesterday and the leftovers were packaged up and will make us a meal this week and one later in the month, or early next month.

I also have some Pork Jambalya in the downstairs freezer for another meal. That is three nice, hearty evening meals for the two of us.

Cooking big batches is a time saver, and frugal when you use things you already have in your pantry, freezer and fridge.

I started my cooking/electrical usage experiment today and will be continuing it by using alternative methods of cooking for the next while. Hopefully in a few months when we get the actual reading of the electric meter I will be able to say this was a success.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Saturday Wrap Up

No pictures today of how far I have gotten along on my unfinished projects and no pictures of finished projects. I am afraid I have been too busy getting things done before I work all of next week.

However, at least I can say that Harvey finished his project and started another one. The doors are on the stair cupboard and he is now busy programming the new thermostat he put on the baseboard heater in the basement.

I truly believe he is starting to take what I have been saying about our electric bills to heart. Now if I could only get him to turn off lights when he is no longer in a room,  my life would be easier and our bills much lower.

I start an experiment of my own tomorrow. I am going to try and use my oven as little as possible over the next couple of months. This means baking my bread in the bread machine,

using my slow cooker more often,

 using the Actifry a bit more,

using the plug in roaster,
and perhaps even using my scary pressure cooker.

This could mean a change in what I have planned to cook for the month, but if it means a lowering of the electric bill it will be worth it!

As prices rise, living on a fixed income could become even more challenging. Grocery shopping was definitely that this week and over the next little while I will be looking at ways to cut costs here as well.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.