Friday, June 21, 2024

Moving Towards Simpler Living


 

Part of my movement towards simpler living is learning how to be a bit more self-sufficient. There is no way we can raise cattle, pigs or chickens on our city lot, but we can grow veggies, herbs and a few medicinal plants. Back alleys here have an abundance of berry bushes and wild flowers for foraging to eat or make salves with. 

I can and do make lots of my own clothing and now I fashion more for comfort than style. I mend, I darn, I knit, I quilt and now I have taken up weaving. This is my first project, and while there are errors I am quite proud of it. Most of the errors were in the beginning and I did get progressively better as I wove. 

In about a week or so I will warp the loom once more and make another scarf. Perhaps I will even get two made now that I know how much time I can stand before needing to move around.


Living simply and frugally does not mean doing without, to me it means being able to spend where it makes a difference, doing things one enjoys, and taking time to breath.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

P.S.  Blogger is really acting goofy and will not allow me to do what I want to do. Grrrr. 


Thursday, June 20, 2024

Thrifty and Frugal Thursdays

                                                        Thrifty and Frugal

Blogger is still acting up for me, but hopefully this posts without me having to sign in, when in fact I am already signed in.

My thrifty and frugal happenings this week are pretty much the same as every week. I did have one thrifty save this week though and I am quite happy about it.

1.  Walking for exercise when it isn't raining. If it is raining I do my walking around the house.

2.  Our coffee pot (a Keurig) died a slow death this week. In checking the flyers I found that Canadian Tire had one on sale (I could make iced coffee with it which made me happy), but I decided to check out Walmart first. Exact same one was on sale for $49.97 a savings of $70.00. 

3.  Checked out the berries I am hoping to forage and all seems to be growing well. I might be able to pick and make jelly by the middle of July.

4.  I managed to move one tote of yarn upstairs into the drawers I have up here for that purpose. I hope to perhaps get another one emptied and up here. 

5.  Made my list and stuck to it while shopping this week. 

6.  Combined errands to save on fuel and vehicle usage. 

7.  Worked on using up all the leftovers in the fridge. A few things left, but they should be cleared out by the end of the week.

8.  Saved the elastics and twist ties off of the veggies bought this week.

9.  Baked bread in the machine for a very decent cost.

10. Book marked some salve and balm recipes.

So there you have it. My frugal and thrifty past times for this week.


Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Midweek And Some More Frugal Tips

 


I had to sign in again before I could access any pictures, what craziness is blogger up to now!!!!


A few more frugal tips to perhaps think about adding to your frugal living.

1. If you get a tax refund put it in a special account to save to pay down more on your mortgage.

2. Make your meals at home. If you work out take a bag lunch.

3. Respect tax and payment deadlines as no one wants to pay interest.

4. If possible split your income with your spouse to save on taxes.

5. Start saving for your retirement early. 

6. Always pay your credit card balance.

7. Learn how to save fuel by changing certain driving behaviours.

8. Travel light, which is really necessary now that some air services are charging for checked bags.

9. Avoid small money withdrawals abroad and refuse automatic conversions into your own dollars.

10. Plan any vacation budget in advance.

11. Set a daily limit for spending.

12. Book flights as early as possible. 

13. Travel in "shoulder" seasons, avoiding school holidays as the prices will be better.

14. Plan a staycation and visit your own area.


Just a few ideas to add to whatever you are doing now to save on the rising costs.


Everybody have a wonderful evening. 

God bless.

Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Tuesday Tidbits and Stuff

 


Another rainy and dark day. I did manage to get the shopping done before the rain changed from a mist to a regular rainfall. Right now there is nothing coming down, but the sky is still overcast and the day is gloomy.

Harvey should be able to bottle his beer in a couple of days. It really takes so much less time than the wine kits. Kris is happy that his Dad is working on the gift he gave him for Christmas. He does have another kit, to do and this one is a grapefruit beer.... Very different.

Me well I have been doing the usual household tasks, working on various projects and once this scarf is finished (should be done by Saturday), I plan on working on a few of my other goals and pulling out the fabric to make those cloth napkins. I have a couple of table cloths I do not use and will probably cut those up to make the napkins. If I don't have enough I will make a trip to the secondhand store and see if I can find any more tablecloths to use. I really would like enough to last at least 2 weeks. Any over that amount I will add to Kurt and Kris's Christmas hampers.

Shopping is becoming a necessary evil. Shrinkflation is getting worse and costs are still rising. I did manage to get some good deals, but really nothing meat wise this week. I will certainly be stretching things out for the next while, and I am wondering about our regular roast meals on a Sunday.... Harvey's mom usually did a sort of fried, baked chicken meal on Sundays and perhaps that is what we will move to doing. At least until good sales happen once again which really could be awhile. 

I took a look at Walmart's yellow sticker meats today. While they were marked down, the savings really wasn't as high as I had hoped. However this time around the meat looked pretty good (mostly chicken and sausages). I will definitely keep my eye on this over the next few months. This is the only store in my city that has mark downs of food items so I am pretty sure they are well picked over. 

I think my next frugal habit (added the month of July) will be trying to do much more foraging than I have ever done before, as well as concentrate on more meatless meals if at all possible.


Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.



Monday, June 17, 2024

Menu Monday

 


I took a few days off and then had a heck of a time signing into my Google account to be able to access my photos. Man, I really wish they would stop switching things around on me. 

I got busy weaving and getting a few extra things done around the house so hopefully I am all caught up now.

Menus for this week are:


Monday

Leftover Tuna Casserole, raw veggies and dip.


Tuesday

Leftover Roast Chicken once again made into a casserole of some kind. The weather is fairly cool so warm meals are a must.


Wednesday

Soup and Sandwiches as I have a friend here for most of the afternoon and I can pull a container out of the freezer. Sandwiches are very quick to make.


Thursday

Leftovers from Tuesday along with a salad.


Friday

Glace, potatoes and onions.


Saturday

It is supposed to warm up so a main dish salad is on the menu.


Sunday

Our usual roast meal. This time Roast Beef, roasted potatoes, and roasted carrots.

Our dessert for a few days is a blueberry pie, and I will plan on making a Chocolate Zucchini Cake later this week.


Everybody have a wonderful evening. 

God bless.


P.S. 

I have almost finished my first weaving project. There are a few errors, but live and learn. Pretty sure the recipient won't care. 

Thursday, June 13, 2024

Thrifty and Frugal Thursdays

Thrifty and Frugal


It really has been a pretty quiet week. One that saw us working in the yard, and getting some of those pesky set aside tasks completed as well. 

My thrifty and frugal saves for this week are once again mostly using things up.

1.  I mended a hem on a pair of my pants that had started coming down.

2.  Harvey is giving his smoker a very good cleaning. He has taken it apart and wiping it all down.

3.  Pulled what radishes that managed to grow and added them to the fresh veggies in the crisper.

4.  Harvey pulled me some onions from the garden to use in the potato salad.

5.  Used leftovers for our lunches (even Harvey did for a change).

6.  Darned a pair of socks for Harvey. 

7.  Found some fabric in my stash that I can use to make a slip with. My old one is getting pretty ratty.

8.  Using appliances at least 3 times a week to cook or to bake.

9.  Pulling frozen fruit from the chest freezer to make desserts from.

10.  Freezing leftovers for meals later on, especially when it gets too hot to cook.

11.  Paying bills online so as not to use fuel or put milage on the vehicle.

12.  Looking at getting Harvey to make me various sized shuttles for my weaving. He says he will be able to make me some. That would be a big savings, and also give him something to do.


This is pretty much all I can really remember along with the usual hanging clothes up to dry, using rain water to water the plants.


Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

  

Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Midweek Money Saving Tips

 


Once again it is the middle of the week and getting very close to being the middle of the month. 

Today I thought I would share some money saving tips with you all. Some I have used for years, while others I have tried and stopped doing due to them not fitting in with our life at this point in time. But they were used at one time or another.

1.  Check your fliers and shop at the store or stores with the best sales. Don't go out of your way though or you will spend more in fuel and time than you save.

2.  Until you get a good stock pile, plan your menus around what is on sale.

3.  Buy things like toilet paper in larger quantities as that is usually the least expensive per roll choice and around her the bigger packages go on sale often.

4.  Avoid purchasing prepared foods.

5.  Store your produce properly so as not to waste food and your hard earned dollars.

6.  Pay your credit cards in full every month.

7.  Don't use your credit card to withdraw cash from a bank. I made this mistake once by complete accident and was shocked at the interest charged.

8.  If you can't pay off your credit card every month don't shop with it. Use cash instead until the balance is zero.

9.  Don't accept credit cards that are offered to you. 

10.  Know your tax deductible expenses and keep the receipts in a file folder to use at tax time.

There are many more but I will share those with you at another time.


Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Tuesday, June 11, 2024

Tuesday Tidbits and Stuff


 

Wow, did it ever warm up today. So nice to have a bit of heat for a change.

I have been working on my weaving for a couple of hours a day with rests every half hour or so. Then the nights see me knitting those mittens. Using up the odd balls of yarn and the partial balls that have been leftover from other projects. 

Today I got my smaller weaving stick and so things should move along a bit faster once I use up the yarn on the large stick first. Harvey has said he could probably make me some more sticks of different sizes eventually. Now that would be nice.

I also got a project book and am planning on doing a couple of them once these two scarves are finished. That may mean me ordering some cotton weaving yarn from Ashford. I need to take a look first in my totes to see if I have a cotton that is suitable for making tea towels. I do think what I have may be a bit too thick, but we shall see. 

I noticed some flowers starting to bud out and I am really happy about that as I spent some time out in the yard today. Looking forward to being able to start some of those salves I have been interested in, especially as this year the dandelions are not too plentiful. I did pick a few so will get at least one tin of dandelion salve made this year.

Harvey has finished making his wine for the next while and so plans on making one of the beer kits that Kris got him for Christmas. That will keep him busy for a bit and out of my hair. When he has nothing to do, Harvey gets a bit "buggy". 

As you all probably notice it has been a very quiet day and the rest of the week looks to be about the same. No shopping, only errand I need to do is go and get our allowances on Friday. If it is not raining I won't even pull the vehicle out, just take a lovely stroll to the bank. The rest of this week will be spent doing a bit of yard work and working on my various projects. This is actually how I wish that all weeks would be, but somehow seem to disappear in a flurry of I must get done items.

Simple living and enjoying the life that we have made for ourselves, the best of times.


Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Monday, June 10, 2024

Menu Monday

 


What are we going to eat this week?


Monday

Baked spaghetti using the leftovers from Saturday. I have also made a marinated salad.


Tuesday

Leftover Brisket, the leftover salad from Monday and probably some mashed potatoes.


Wednesday

Leftovers from Monday. I am not sure if I will have salad fixings, but I should be able to rustle up some raw veggies and dip.


Thursday

Soup and sandwiches. Pretty sure I will try and make some salmon sandwiches.


Friday

Tuna Casserole, and probably some mixed veggies.


Saturday

Hotdogs, baked beans and probably pasta.


Sunday

Roast Chicken, roasted potatoes and roasted carrots.


I still have some meat sauce leftover (must have made a bit too much) so I will put it in a container and freeze it for use later on. No waste going on in this house as the cost of groceries is just way too high not to use every little bit up.


Everybody have a wonderful evening. 

God bless.

Sunday, June 9, 2024

Sunday Ramblings....Simpler Living Bedroom Basics


 

The next chapter in my Simple Living book is all about bedrooms. 

Part of the chapter talks about how your bedroom should be your sanctuary, a place to relax and sleep. I know many who have televisions in their bedrooms as well as a mini office. How can one relax or sleep when surrounded by the gadgets of modern living. 

The chapter talks about having a clear path to your closet or bedroom door. No matter which way we would position our bed one or the other of us would need to circumnavigate the bed to either reach the closet or reach the door. Still the path to each is relatively clear so I am considering this a win. 

The chapter speaks about using blackout shades so as to be able to sleep properly. We found this out to be true, and are sleeping much, much better now. 

While our bedroom is pretty large I don't think a screen for changing behind would work, just another item to dust, clean and it would take up a bit too much space. 

Getting those dust bunnies out from under the bed is another hint they reinforce. This is especially great if you have allergies, and really vacuuming under the bed each week is not a problem. In our case we have no carpet so I attack those with a broom. 

One thing I really agree with is to keep your nightstand clear of extraneous items. Harvey's has nothing on it, mine has a basket that corrals my deodorant, foot cream, a couple of books and my lavender salve. The only other item on my nightstand is my ereader and charging cord. I need to read to rest my brain before sleeping.

They recommend cleaning out your drawers, and of course your closet. Declutter, declutter. 

I am sure all of us do this, group like items. I have my socks in one drawer, underwear in another, pj's in yet another. It is recommended to use rolling so as to be able to store more in the drawer.

Here are the ideas they give to as they say The Simplest of the Simple hints.


1. Remove all of the noisemakers from your bedroom (television, radio).

2. Keep a nightstand on both sides of your bed.

3. Use a shoe bag or folding wine holder to store your shoes in the closet.

4. Remove all the old clothes and clothes you don't wear/don't fit from your closet and drawers.

5. Group similar clothing items together in drawers and closet.

6. Hang up or fold clean clothes and put dirty clothes in the hamper immediately.

7. Store extra blankets and pillows in another room.

8. If you do a great deal of traveling, make an extra set of toiletries only for traveling. Saves time when packing.


Everybody have a wonderful evening. 

God bless.

Saturday, June 8, 2024

Saturday Roundup

 


This week has all been about learning how to weave and that has been going very well, probably to the detriment of other things. I do love my new toy, but I think Harvey is correct and I should have gone for the next size down..... 

It has also been a week of getting things caught up outside. All plants are in the ground, weeding and watering being done early in the mornings, and tomorrow I sweep off the deck and collect the small sticks that have fallen off our trees to use to start the fire in the firepit over the next while.

The only other thing project I have been working on is those knitted mitts for Kurt's school. 

I am hoping to get this first scarf woven and then warp my machine for the second one. That second one should have fewer errors I hope and I do need two so as each son gets one in their hampers for Christmas. One gift down for each of them and then I get to think of some other items to put in.

I don't know if I was taken or not, but there is a lady on Twitter (or X) that was saying she needed money to purchase some of her prescriptions (she is on ODSP) and I just can't stand that someone can't afford to purchase their medications so I PayPaled her some money. I did get a thank you from her. I hope it covers at least one script.

Then one of Kurt's good friends is in a tough money situation as well so I hope to purchase a rosary from her to give to the lady who looks after my plants when we travel. 

It isn't like we can't afford to share and I find it so hard to scroll by those who are in trouble, or are finding it very hard to live on the small amount that is given to them by the government.

I am off to get the water boiling for my pasta, and to get the garlic bread ready to heat up in the oven.... Though I am thinking of toasting it for a change.

Everybody have a wonderful evening. 

God bless.


Friday, June 7, 2024

A Day Of Catching Up

 


I know the meme talks about students, but I really think we are all students in one form or another. 

This morning was spent catching up on a few things. I weeded the very center of my perennial bed, and weeded the back bed by the shed. Then moved on with Harvey's help in putting out the yard decor (not that we have much anymore). I still have some solar lighting to get out and will probably do that tomorrow. I will also be heading out with a bag to pick dandelions as I really need to get that salve started. Infusing the oil takes awhile and I would like that done and the salve made before we head to the reunion. 

I next tackled a very few tasks inside as I was itching to get weaving once again. Got those pesky household chores completed and began weaving. I am pretty slow, and while not perfect it really isn't too bad. As Harvey keeps reminding me this is my first project and a learning experience. 

The appliance cooking to cut down on electrical usage is going very well. I really am enjoying not using the oven as much. It does take a bit of figuring out, but if I only use it for roasts and baking I think I am doing well. Tomorrow is spaghetti and sauce and I plan on trying to use the slow cooker for the sauce. 

I have decided the next frugal habit I will try and add to my repertory will be cloth napkins. I can always wash them with my towels. So I will be looking through my fabric and seeing what is suitable to use and once this weaving project is done, sewing a few up. Just a few to begin with and then move on from there.


Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Thursday, June 6, 2024

Thrifty and Frugal Thursdays

Thrifty and Frugal 


It was another windy day, but at least the winds seem to be dissipating slightly. Good thing as I am really not too sure how much more whipping around the plants can take.


So what frugal, thrifty happenings are going taking place here on the old homestead.

I used bits and bobs and single balls to warp my loom, and now am weaving with some yarn I have had for a number of years. There should be enough of both to make a second scarf.

Using up leftovers is always accomplished, though I did have to throw out some roasted veggies that once again got pushed to the back of the fridge.

Used some frozen rhubarb from last year and a leftover pie crust from the freezer to make a pie. While my rhubarb can't be picked this year I see that my neighbours is ready to be picked. I plan on knocking on her door to ask if I can pick it.

Put a wicker shelf unit on a garage sale site and I hope to sell it soon. If not I may just donate it.

I added another $45.00 to the savings envelope and $3.45 to the change jars.

Made a list for shopping and stuck to the list once again. There were no real pantry items I was interested in adding this week.

Worked in the garden a couple of times weeding and of course using water from the rain barrel.

Still watching water usage, and working still on the electrical usage as well. Our bill seems pretty darn high this month and we haven't even turned on the AC as of yet.

Once again I got to hang clothing outside on the lines. 

Gathered twigs to use to start the fires in the firepit this summer.

Got free firewood from a lady down the street. It has to season for a bit so this will be the start of next years collection of wood. 


So that is all that I can think of right now. Must get supper on the table so I will visit you all later.


Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.


  

Wednesday, June 5, 2024

Mid Week Once Again


 

Oh my, we have almost finished the first week in June. Things are moving just too quickly.

Today has been extremely windy and that is really causing problems in the veggie garden. I believe I just might have lost one, if not two of my eggplant. Dang!!! Harvey's set onions are all lying flat as well. So far the tomatoes, lettuce, beans, potatoes, and cucumbers look fine. 

I walked to get the mail and since the city is working on replacing watermains in the street behind us, had to take a different route. What did I see? Well this wind had blown down a tree behind someone's home and as it fell it ripped part of the roof off. I think that the people are at work so they are going to be very surprised once home. 

I managed to bake a pie (will bake bread tomorrow) and get the regular household tasks completed. 

This meant one thing....Weaving time. I did manage to get about 3 1/2 inches done today. Which considering the large weaving stick I am using is pretty good. I have a smaller one on order as well as a book with patterns and ideas for beginners.

So here is my first try at weaving. This picture was taken at around 12 before I quit to have lunch. 


I really don't think I am doing too badly for a first try. I think the next will be warped with the cream yarn and the brown will be used to weave with (that is if I have enough of the brown could be I don't, my thinking is leaning that way).

I have been taking breaks and while my back starts to ache a bit, it is more my shoulders and neck this time around.

I have left the loom and will be doing the knitting on mitts portion of my projects. Hope to get another pair done by bedtime tonight.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Tuesday, June 4, 2024

Tuesday Tidbits And Stuff

 

A quick post tonight as I want to visit you all, plus get my shuttle wound to start weaving tomorrow after watching more videos.

The last two, three days actually I have been getting the loom ready for weaving. Hopefully I get much quicker at doing the warping. 

I was asked if I could sit while doing this part of the process. Not for the first bit, but I can sit for the next two, which I hope will mean less back pain and quicker work. 

So here is what I managed to get done.


This was the first step getting the warp around the warping peg (and the one where I can't sit). I was also getting a bit confused with the over and under the warping stick directions. Figured it out finally.


Next Harvey had to hold the yarn from the warping peg at a constant tension so I could roll it onto the back roller. I then had to cut the yarn and have one thread go through the long slit in the reed, and then one thread was pulled out and pulled through the small hole to the right.

The threads were then gathered into smaller groups and tied to the warping stick in the front. You had to check the tension of the yarn often to make sure it was consistent. Then the groups were divided in half and tied around the warp stick. I ended up moving the groups a bit closer together as the spacing on the warp stick was not quite right. This meant testing the tension once again.

The last thing I did today was to use some scrap yarn to pull the other yarn threads to a more consistent spacing.


Now this is ready to weave. Tomorrow morning it is video time and hopefully I will be weaving by the afternoon (probably by watching the videos while doing so between shuttle passes). 


Off to visit you all and then get that shuttle wound and to work on knitting those mitts I promised Kurt.


Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Monday, June 3, 2024

Menu Monday

 


While the weather is getting warmer, I am still cooking a few meals that are bit on the hearty side. This is mainly because of the rain we seem to be getting almost every evening, which really cools things down.


Monday

Smoked hamburgers warmed on the BBQ (package of two premade and presmoked from the freezer), baked beans and raw veggies and dip.


Tuesday

Leftovers from Sunday which was a ham and scalloped potato casserole. I will probably make corn to go with this.


Wednesday

Soup and sandwiches. I will pull out the Pea soup and make egg salad sandwiches.


Thursday

Mystery container from the fridge freezer. I pretty much think it is lentil curry, so will make rice and a salad to go with this.


Friday

Fish fillets, fries, and salad


Saturday

Spaghetti, garlic bread and salad or raw veggies and dip.


Sunday

I am getting Harvey to smoke a brisket. Making coleslaw or potato salad to go along with this meal.


Tomorrow I hope to post some pictures of the warping of the loom. Yep, I started but really need to take a break as my back started killing me. Now I know I will need more breaks when I do the first part of the warp, and will probably need breaks when I do the second half. Still I think this is a learning curve and that I will really learn what I can and can not do (stand for 2 1/2 hours mainly).


Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.


Sunday, June 2, 2024

Sunday Ramblings

 

Not so much a post about thoughts and various ramblings. Instead we assembled the loom today. It went together very easily, the directions were pretty good, except in one place. But Harvey figured it out. 


So here is the monster that I purchased.


A rather large monster, that will probably draw me in for a number of months. I know I will need to make some strict guidelines so that I can get my other projects done as well.

Most of today I have spent knitting mitts and watching warping videos. I am hoping to get it warped tomorrow (which from the looks of it will take quite awhile). Weaving will start on Tuesday for a couple of hours hopefully.


Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Saturday, June 1, 2024

Monthly Goal Update

 


First off what did I manage to get completed in May.

1.  Work on cross stitch angel. Nothing done on this just too rainy and dismal. 

2. Copy 14 recipes from those we have tried and loved. Done

3.  Finish binding on baby quilt. Done

4.  Sew sun dress. Done

5.  Cut out purses (can't find anything I really like so will try to make a couple of my own). Done

6.  Plant perennial bulbs. Done

7.  Hem and hang curtains. Actually pretty much done. Done

8.  Make another quilt flimsy. Done

9.  Cut and sew infinity scarves for silent auction.10. Sew purses. Done

11.  Wash winter coats. Done

12.  Plant outside flowers, herbs and veggies. Done

13.  Try and use appliances for cooking much more than I do. Done

Not too bad. I even managed to knit another tank top for the summer.

Here are a few photos of what was completed.





This month there will be fewer projects on my list.


1.  Set up the loom.

2.  Warp the loom.

3.  Start an easy weaving project (probably a scarf or some placemats).

4.  Knit 25 pairs of mittens.

5.  Weed the perennial bed at least twice.

6.  Water outside plants.

7.  Get the fertilizer spikes into the lemon tree pots.

8. Cross stitch on the angel.


Wish me luck as I am not too sure about the weaving portion of these projects. We are going to start (notice I say start) putting the loom together tomorrow. Hopefully all goes well and we can get it all together in one day. 


Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Friday, May 31, 2024

Garden Friday, The First Planting

 I promised you all pictures of my planting this year. Hopefully you all forgive the mess around the yard/garden as it has been raining so much that getting out to clean up is a bit of a problem. Hopefully it will be sunny all day tomorrow and clean up can commence. I should also take pictures in the evening when all the solar lighting comes on. We still have a few that are not lighting which I find strange as they lit up perfectly fine at the time I collected them to put away for the winter.


Here goes, this will be picture heavy.























So hopefully this is all Harvey and I will be planting this year. The lemon trees have not been put out on the deck as of yet as the evenings and overnight are still pretty cool. Hopefully those will be out next week. 


Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.