Wednesday, January 31, 2024

Last Midweek Of The Month


Well, I did not get all my projects finished this month. I did make a good dent in them though.

The ones I didn't finish are much easier to post than those I did. I did not finish my block of embroidery (though over the last week, what with the sunshine I made very good progress) and I did not get the cough drops made. 

We are supposed to have a good amount of snow hit us on the 7th of February, so that looks like a good day to stay home and get hopefully many small projects listed for the month completed.

Thought I would share my list of goals and projects for February with you.

1.  Finish the block of embroidery and start another.

2.  Sew the dress I cut out.

3.  Cut the strips I will use for the sashing on the baby quilt flimsy.

4.  Cut out skirt.

5.  Sew skirt.

6.  Try one downloaded free embroidery pattern.

7.  Finish the sweater I am knitting.

8.  Use appliances to cook more meals.

9.  Pull yarn for my next knitting projects.

10.  Knit some mug cozies for the silent auction.

11.  Cut out and sew 2 aprons.

12.  Fix chair cushions. 

Many will only take an hour or two of concentration. I hope to be finished all of them by the end of the month. We shall see how I manage to get everything completed or at least the majority of them. Would really like a month where there was no carry over for a change.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Tuesday, January 30, 2024

Tuesday Tidbits


Wow, such lovely weather the past couple of days. Today right now in the city it is 10C. I know there is more cold heading our way, but nothing like the bone chilling temperatures at the beginning of the month. 

I seem to be sleeping much longer than usual. This morning it was very late for me, thus causing me to only do my shopping at one store. Mainly because there were way too many people around for me to feel completely safe. I did get to the bank for our allowances though so managed to combine two of my four errands. Tomorrow I will do the last two and not have to leave the house to be around crowds of people for a little bit. 

With the sunny days I have been able to work on my embroidery and that is moving right along. While I won't have the square done this month, I have great hopes of being finished it early next month and perhaps starting a third block. Slowly but surely moving forward knowing that this portion of the quilt will take a very long time to complete. Once the weather gets nice it will probably grind to a halt as I start work in the yard.

Everybody have a wonderful afternoon.

God bless.

Monday, January 29, 2024

Menu Plan Monday


I took yesterday off as well, all I did was knit, embroider, and make the household task list for this week. 

Today we planned our little get away for September. We now have a cabin rented for 4 nights and 3 days in Cypress Hills. One of the parks we always wanted to see when we lived in Shaunavon, but never really got around to visiting. Really looking forward to being out in nature once again. I foresee lots of hikes and enjoying the quiet (or at least I hope it will be quiet). 

So what is on the menu for this week.


Ham steaks, raw veggies and dip, and there is a premixed noodle package that needs using up.


A bag of leftover pork made into a stir fry and served over rice. I will make extra rice as well.


Soup and sandwiches. I need to use up a couple of cans of soup so no homemade this week. Not sure what kind of sandwiches but perhaps salmon salad (lots of salmon that needs using as well).


Leftover pork stir fry along with the leftover rice.


Probably Glace, potatoes, onions and eggs. Leftovers will be my lunch for a few days.


I have pulled a package of Cabbage Bread from the freezer to use up before getting too old.


Roast Chicken, roasted potatoes, roasted carrots and I think I will make gravy.

So I am still in use it up mode and I am slowly getting into the swing of using items up. Hopefully I can empty the fridge freezer.

I also pulled a bag of Pumpkin Muffins out to use for breakfasts, and I have a plan to use some Puff Pastry and a few apples that are getting old for desserts this week. Almost finished the coffee cake, which went over very well with Harvey. It seems as if when there is something sweet, there is less chance of someone running out and picking up chocolate with their allowance.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Saturday, January 27, 2024

Saturday Roundup


Now this is going to sound very strange coming from me, but I have been pretty lazy. 

I did some embroidery, made soup, baked bread, did some knitting, washed/dried and ironed fabric. I also managed to do the regular household tasks here on the old homestead. Other than that I have been relatively lazy. Especially lazy today. 

I guess one needs to rest from their busy lives every so often. Hopefully next week I will have some project finished pictures for you. Getting pretty close to the end of this month and I have lots left to do as of yet.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Friday, January 26, 2024

Recipe Friday


Since Thursday seems to be the day I post my thrifty and frugal happenings, I thought I might change my Friday post up a little bit. 

I was asked to share my potato soup recipe so here it is.

Slow Cooker Creamy Potato Soup

1 finely chopped onion

2 cans of chicken broth (I used OXO bouillon packages 4 of them and enough water to make 21 oz of broth)

2 cups of water

5 large potatoes (I used 8 medium sized), diced

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp dill weed

1/2 tsp pepper

2 cups of cream or half and half

1 12 oz can of evaporated milk

Cook onions in a bit of margarine or butter until soft. Transfer to a slow cooker and stir in the chicken broth, water, herbs, salt and potatoes. Cover and cook on low 6 to 7 hours. 

Pour in cream (or half and half). Stir into the soup along with the evaporated milk. Cover and cook at least 30 more minutes. 

Turn off slow cooker and allow to cool slightly. Using a blender or a stick blender, blend the soup until smooth or leave it chunky if you prefer.

You can serve right away, or freeze. When serving top with chopped cooked bacon and a sprinkle of cheese.

Hope you all like it. 

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Thursday, January 25, 2024

Thrifty Thursday


This was a week of thrifty cooking more than anything else of a thrifty nature.

I used up some of our softening potatoes to make potato soup. Pulled the ham broth from the big freezer and made split pea soup. I also used up some of the sour cream that was just over it's best by date (still have a bit more to use). 

I combined errands that needed the use of the vehicle. Even though it is getting warmer out you still need to warm up the vehicle before you move.

I washed and ironed fabric so that it can be used and not worry about it shrinking. The last bit I washed I hung on the lines downstairs to dry. 

Lights are being turned off in rooms not in use, and in the evenings I only have one light on so as to see to knit. Mind you I really only have to see to measure at this point. 

I am using more appliances to cook and finding recipes we will enjoy I hope. 

Leftovers are being used up, and a very small bag of ham was pulled from the fridge freezer to add to the pea soup. 

Baked bread, and sweets so that we are not tempted to run out and purchase something ready made.

I mended a coat seam, sewed on some buttons, and darned a pair of socks. I may have to break down and purchase some new socks as a couple of pairs have more darning areas than original sock.

Still working on simplifying things around the house, that is a work in progress. Once done however will actually make the house easier to keep clean and organized. Lots to do in that area though. 

Everybody have a wonderful evening. 

God bless.

Wednesday, January 24, 2024

Midweek, Just One More This Month


The day started off with something we hadn't seen in awhile. Sunny and no wind. But by 2pm the sun had disappeared and the wind came back. Still I did manage about an hour or two of embroidery which was very nice. I know I won't get the block finished, but having got a bit more done makes me happy.

We have so many potatoes left from the garden that I decided to make potato soup today. I am doing it in the slow cooker.

Excuse the steamy picture. I added the cream just a bit ago and I think that instead of thickening it with flour I am going to use my immersion blender and give it some swishes to make it more of a cream type soup.

I also made a coffee cake.

That should hit the spot for dessert over the next while. 

Cough drops will be made tomorrow, and the yellow fabric washed and dried as well. The ironing on that can wait for a bit. As can the binding cutting and slashing cutting. 

Tonight I will sit and do some knitting. Since I am unable to embroider I pulled out more yarn from the stash and cast on for another easy pullover sweater. 

Soon I will be pulling the casserole out of the fridge and getting it ready to pop into the toaster oven. Really trying to use more appliances rather than the oven. It just needs warming up so it won't be long before it is ready once supper time comes around. 

I am looking forward to figuring out if I want to purchase a loom (something I have wanted for ages) or an Easy Press for my Cricut creations. 

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Tuesday Tidbits

 The weather was nice enough for Harvey to get the snowblower out and begin clearing the driveway and the area behind and beside the vehicle shelter. He even cleared behind and in front of his truck on the street. Still more to do, but he got the majority cleared out.

Me, well I did a bit of straightening up in one closet, found a couple more items to donate, and a couple I need to try before I make a decision on whether or not to donate. I cleared a few items out that needed to be used at lunch and tomorrow I will get some more items used and frozen to be meals later. I was going to wait until Saturday to make the potato soup, but now will make it tomorrow along with some baking.

Todays perhaps largest task was to iron this....

I bought this batik fabric from a friend that was downsizing her stash of fabric and quilting supplies. I bought the whole bolt for a steal of a deal, so 11 meters of fabric. I removed it from the bolt and put it through the washer and drier. Then today I ironed the whole thing. I ended up doing it in sections, one 5 meter piece and then a 6 meter piece. Now it is ready for cutting out and sewing next month. I believe I will be making a skirt, top and perhaps another dress for summer wear. Next up to be washed and ironed is some yellow fabric I purchased to make slashing and binding on a baby quilt I embroidered. 

Knitting happened, while watching season 11 of Father Brown (only 2 episodes) and I am now watching an old British comedy that is hilarious. I just wish I could really understand one of the three gentlemen who are the stars of the show.

Once again too dark and gloomy to do any embroidery. I wonder if I can find a clip on Ott light on Amazon for these kind of days.

Everybody have a wonderful day.

God bless.

Monday, January 22, 2024

Menu Monday


Another week has arrived and I have already made a few menu changes and some plans for what I call batch cooking (but really all it is, is making large batches even larger). This time my batch cooking will consist of making soups. There are potatoes that need using, and some ham broth that needs to be made into something scrumptious.


Sausage Casserole (this will use up some potatoes as well as some of the carrots). 



I will use up the last bit of turkey/chicken in a casserole and make a tossed salad to go along with it.


Leftovers from Monday.


Leftovers from Tuesday.


We love the Salmon ball recipe from the Casserole book in the Company's Coming series. Have not had it in awhile so will make this for our supper. Served with the remains of the salad fixings as well.


Soup making day, but we will probably have the Split Pea Soup made with the ham broth. All extra soup will be packaged up and put in the big freezer for meals down the road. This includes the potato soup I plan on making. I am thinking Grilled Cheese Sandwiches to go along with our soup.


Roast Pork, roasted potatoes, roasted carrots.

I was asked if I could share the cough drop recipe so here it is,

Homemade Cough Drops

1 peppermint tea bag

1 chamomile tea bag

1/2 tsp ginger

1/2 tsp cinnamon

3/4 cup boiling water

3/4 cup honey

Steep peppermint, chamomile tea bags, cinnamon and ginger in boiling water for 10 minutes or more. If using loose leaf tea use 1 tbsp of each kind of tea and after steeping strain off the water into a small saucepan. Add the honey and heat over medium until it comes to a boil. Using a candy thermometer continue boiling until mixture reaches 300F. Remove from heat and allow to cool 5-10 minutes until the mixture starts to get syrupy. Drop by small spoonfuls onto parchment paper and let cool.

Dust with cornstarch to absorb condensation and prevent them from sticking together. Store in an air tight container.

These, as well as a couple of desserts will also be made this week.

Everybody have a wonderful day.

God bless.

Sunday, January 21, 2024

Sunday Ramblings

We attended Mass this morning, and then Harvey, feeling slightly guilty (I believe) over the next bit of damage he managed to inflict on my vehicle took me out for brunch. I told him things happen in threes and soon I was not going to allow him to drive the SUV. All I can say is that it is a very good thing that the weather is warming and will continue that trend for a bit. 

I have pulled out my recipe for homemade cough drops and I plan on making those one day next week. This should be an interesting experiment for me as I had a friend who swore by them (she passed away a few years ago) and it is her recipe. Gayle made these every year for her family.

I also went over the menu for this week, and decided to pull out leftover chicken (or it could be turkey) to warm up for supper rather than pulling a roasting chicken out of the freezer. Using up something before adding more to the fridge freezer. What ever is left I will make into a small casserole for the two of us later in the upcoming week. This meant all I pulled out of the meat freezer was a package of small pork sausages to make a casserole with on Monday (leftovers will be served on Wednesday). 

With prices seemingly on the rise even quicker than before, any little thing we can do to save on something can and does make a big difference to our bottom lines. Like many of you I find myself shopping sales, not purchasing something if it is too costly, and making do with what I have and using up all that I can. Planning on soup next Saturday and I have peas and ham broth to use up. Add a bit of carrot and one has a lovely pea soup. Our potatoes are getting slightly soft and so I think one day this week I will whip up some potato soup and put it in the freezer for a day when I don't feel like cooking. 

Groceries and cooking from scratch are perhaps the easiest ways to save money. However I am going to see if I can cut water usage (not sure how as of yet) and see about making more of our personal care items like cough drops, salves, lotions and the like. 

Making more blankets and quilts would enable me to turn down the heat a bit more as well. Half a degree or so at night would not make us uncomfortable in the least. Though perhaps turning it down during the day when we are active could be an even better idea. 

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.


Saturday, January 20, 2024

Saturday Roundup


While the ambient temperature isn't bad, once again the wind is making it feel so much colder.

Today I have some pictures of a few of the past times I did this week.

Actually these are the week before I tried to make some sausage rolls. Not too bad for a first try really. These were meal sized ones, and I will be making these again.

Recipes that we enjoy have been copied onto some index cards.

I used up lots of my leftover cotton yarn making dish cloths. There are 24 of them here.

Cut out a knit sundress, and still have enough fabric left to make a simple skirt or t-shirt next.

I also finished off all the edges on these flannelette squares and got them washed. Of course I did not get a photo of the finished squares..... 

Baked bread and made muffins and have been enjoying them immensely (the muffins) for breakfasts.

Of course decluttering has been happening and I will have a couple of bags to drop off once the weather warms up a bit.

The only goal I really have not made much progress on right now is the embroidered quilt square.... Just too cloudy most days to get much done on it. We will need to see how far I can get over the next week or so. 

Everybody have a wonderful day (or evening).

God bless.

Friday, January 19, 2024

Frugal Friday


Well, I guess one could say the temperature is going up. Still chilly with the wind (-28C right now), but the sun is shining and that makes me happy.

So what frugal things have I been up to this week.

1.  Went 2 days beyond my usual shopping day. It meant changing my list as what was on sale when I made it was no longer on sale. I am really trying to stick to purchasing sale items only, unless it is milk (never on sale), fruit or produce. That meant no meat this week at all. Nothing on sale that we needed.

2.  Using up pantry and freezer items. I made bran muffins and pumpkin muffins to use for breakfasts and for snacks. I will probably make a coffee cake soon to use up the sour cream as it is just over its best before date.

3.  Used up quite a bit of the cotton yarn I reclaimed and some that I have had in storage for awhile. There are some small balls left of certain colours, so in a month or two I will knit some funky coloured dish cloths. Must use everything up.

4.  Eating leftovers for lunches.

5.  Bake to making bread once again. At least until the second week in February. Hubby will not be able to eat much bread especially the whole wheat I make and there is no way I could eat a full loaf by myself.

6.  Filled some containers that were getting low with pasta, whole wheat flour and bread crumbs.

So that is my frugal week so far along with all the usual frugal things we do like turning off lights, opening the drapes on sunny days to take advantage of our south facing window, and trying different meatless meals where I can sneak them past Harvey.

Everybody have a wonderful day/evening.

God bless.

Thursday, January 18, 2024

Thrifty Thursday


Here is hoping this blog will post as Blogger seems to be very slow today. Wonder if I can blame the cold and the wind.

I did go out and get a few groceries today, but will need to finish my shopping tomorrow. Not thrifty, but necessary as leaving the grocery store was really cold.

So what thrifty moves have taken place this week.

Well I got the flannel square edges all finished and have quite a bagful of them to be used when I start my next frugal endeavor come February.

We combined banking, picking up prescriptions, getting our haircuts and dropping off my old glasses to be fitted with the new lenses in one errand running morning.

I am working on copying out the recipes to be put in an old album. Then cutting up the hard copies into note making papers. Getting quite a stack of those.

Put more leftover veggies from supper last night into the container in the fridge freezer. 

I have of course been doing the usual thrifty things around the house. Like saving the plastic fruit bags, saving twist ties, and such. 

So what thrifty practices have you been using this week?

Everybody have a wonderful day.

God bless.

Wednesday, January 17, 2024

Midweek, Jackie Better Get A Move On


Here we are once again and to make matters even worse we are just over halfway through the month!!! I have very few projects done, and even my extra monthly cleaning has ground to a halt. I am once again finding it hard to concentrate on what I am doing and getting behind on what I should be doing. I hope to change that over the course of the rest of the month. 

I think I need to clear something up. Yes, we do have to plug in our vehicle on those exceptionally cold prairie nights during the winter. Heck we usually leave it plugged in most times as the temperature needs to fall below -18C for it to start sucking up power. 

What happened this time is that someone (not me and since there are only 2 people living in this house we all know who this was), hit the switch as they exited the vehicle and turned on the headlights. Those were left on during a couple of the coldest days of the year so far. Now we do have what is known as a Battery Saving device installed, but with the cold, even though it worked the battery was almost completely dead. We have my vehicle up and running and from now on I will make sure all lights are off when Hubby drives and parks in the shelter. I have done that for years as I noticed once that my purse hit and turned the switch. 

Still cold today, in fact just a tad colder than yesterday, and yesterday was brutal with the wind. I really want to go and get groceries today to take advantage of this weeks sale prices, but venturing out in this cold could be problematic. I may wait and take a look at what the sale fliers show today for next week. I have a feeling that things are pretty picked over from this weeks. Means making a new list and probably forgoing a few items until they go back on sale, but I much prefer shopping when it is slightly warmer.

Today I hope to finish the dishcloths, and continue copying out recipes (started that yesterday as one of my quicker projects). My file of downloaded recipes is quite full and needs clearing out and those recipes we enjoy need writing down and put away.

I must also bake a loaf of bread today (thank heavens for the machine). I also need to remember to pull out a bag of frozen ham at some point this morning to make the casserole for tonight. 

I hope to have pictures of finished projects up by Saturday for my weekly roundup post. Off to get things accomplished today, or it will be another "Where did all the time disappear?" type of day.

Everyone have a wonderful day.

God bless.

Tuesday, January 16, 2024

Tuesday Tidbits


We had a bit of an exciting day here after I did my post. Since I hadn't picked up the mail for about a week, I decided to start the vehicle and drive to do so..... Well, I got in the car and tried to start it. Warnings were flashing, and nothing happened. One of the warnings was "Battery critically low start vehicle". Yeah, right since it wouldn't start I got Harvey up and he pulled out his battery charger. 

The battery charger was one of those plug in to recharge before using it (can also be used to power a USB type thing as well and pump up your tires). Well after hours of waiting for it to build up a charge .... he ended up starting his truck and heading out to purchase an old fashioned "tickle" charger as he calls them.

It was now 3:30 and after leaving the charger on for 1 1/2 hours we finally got my baby started. Hopefully it still is going to start today. I may just do those errands that I can whip in and leave the car running today. The only time that might not happen is during our haircuts. This means shopping (other than grabbing some milk perhaps) is off the list for today and will be done later in the week. Not to worry we will not starve though produce and fruit are in very low supply.

So these are my outside run around the city for the morning.


Prescription Pickup

Take in glasses for new lenses and pick up later in the day


Pick up the mail

Not a great deal but in this weather it is not going to be much fun. We were a bit spoiled here with the lovely and warmish weather to start the winter off. I hope we are out of the deep freeze very soon.

With all the upset about the vehicle (okay as Hubby would say me in panic mode), I did not get as much done as I had wanted on my project list. I hope to get a bit more accomplished today. There are a couple of quick ones that I can manage.

I will check back later and let you all know if the vehicle started or if we had to use the truck for our errands.

Everybody have a wonderful day.

God bless.

Well the vehicle started and continued to work for all our errands. That is a relief as I refuse to drive the old truck. Shopping was not done today, hopefully in a couple of days things will warm up. I froze enough this morning and later this afternoon when I picked up my glasses. Just too windy to make it feel warmish out.

Monday, January 15, 2024

Menu Monday


Still a miserably cold day outside, so I am inside for another day at least. Though I really, really need to pick up the mail as it has been almost a week since last doing so. 

Tomorrow is to be slightly better which is a good thing as we have to venture out to our haircut appointments. I will phone in the prescription order before we leave and it will be ready for pick up after the haircuts (or at least I hope it will be). I also need to get at least some groceries, so after coming home and warming up slightly I will be off to get that completed and pick up our allowances at the bank (hmm another errand that could be done right after the haircuts as they are all in the general location we will be in).

Thanks to everyone who answered my question on reusable "paper towels". You have all given me much to think about this month. 

Enough chattering away and on with the menus for the week. There are some slight changes as I have once again have too many leftovers stored in my freezer. However to use up a few items that need using I will be adding to that collection this week. 


Baked spaghetti from the freezer, and the side will be the remainder of the raw veggies and dip.


The leftover ribs along with the scalloped potatoes from Sunday. I will more than likely make corn to go a


Leftover ham made into a casserole. I will make sure and pick a recipe that has lots of veggies included.


In order to clean out the fridge a bit we will have leftovers from Wednesday.


Tuna Noodle Casserole and raw veggies and dip.


A container of leftover stew from the fridge freezer. I will make some dumplings to go with this.


Roast Chicken, roasted potatoes, roasted carrots. Our usual Sunday roast meal of some type, which of course adds leftover meat to the freezer.

Everybody have a wonderful day.

God bless.

Sunday, January 14, 2024

Sunday Ramblings


I thought I would hold off in making a post, in the hopes that things would change a bit. The only change was the sun has been out for most of the day, so the solar heat is keeping the house pretty warm. Still beyond freezing outside, not fit for man or beast really. 

Harvey went out and did a tiny bit of shoveling. He cleaned off the steps and the walk between the the car shelter and house. Came back in and was out of breath, he said the cold really caught a person off guard. 

So that means another day of inside chores and projects. I finished decluttering all my shoes. Since I don't wear heels  any longer most hit the donation bag. Now I am wondering where on earth I got all those shoes!!!! Once the weather changes I will be dropping those off and hopefully will have another bag of items to take as well. 

In my quest not to waste anything I am using Christmas bags for the donations, and then the second hand store can even sell the bags (as long as they do not rip). 

Managed to finish one project for the month today. I zig zagged all the edges of the squares I cut, and located those I had cut at the beginning of the pandemic. These will all be put to use next month as a frugal living project. 

I have also decided to try and do something that our youngest son does when I send a loaf of homemade bread home with him. That will be my second hopefully frugal project for next month. 

I have a question. Has anyone made reusable cloth towels (you know those that take the place of paper towels)? I am thinking that those could be one of my frugal projects for one of the upcoming months. I am really trying to get more reusables here to lower my carbon footprint this year.

The cold will be staying with us for a few more days, so I hope to get a few more small projects completed and share some pictures with you next week.

I might have to redo or at least rethink my menus for the rest of this month and the beginning of next month. Things are once again adding up in the fridge freezer, especially as I added bran and pumpkin muffins to the mix.

Whoever said simple, frugal living was easy was way off the mark.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Saturday, January 13, 2024

Saturday Roundup


There really isn't much to report on what has been happening around the old homestead. It has been too blooming cold to head outside for the least amount of time. Today is colder yet with temperatures of -34 C (-29F) but feeling like -51C (-60F) when I arose this morning and from the looks of it they are not rising very quickly.

With temperatures that low we more or less hunker down and stay warm inside, hoping that there are no power outages of significance either. It has happened before that our power has shut down after large draws on the plant. Scary when it is this cold.

I hope to do the finishing on the squares I cut out a couple of days ago. Not sure if I want to overlock/serge the edges or just do a close zig zag around them. I am thinking zig zag as I could pull my machine out front rather than sit in the sewing room.

I will also finish off one of the balls of cotton yarn today making dishcloths. I was asked by a reader to share my pattern so here it is, an oldie but the first ever put out.

Use size 5mm needles (not too sure what the American size would be.

Cast on 4 stitches and knit one row.

Next and all following rows 

Knit 2, yarn over knit to end of row. 

Do this row until you have 45 stitches on your needle. Start decreases.

Knit 1, knit 2 together, yarn over, knit 2 together, knit to end of row. Do this decrease for each of the following rows.

Do decreases until only 5 stitches remain on the needle.

Knit 2, knit 2 together, knit 1.

Cast off the remaining 4 stitches.

I think if you wanted a larger cloth you could make more increases, I have seen some patterns that say 53 stitches on the needle before starting decreases. As long as it is an odd number of stitches it should work out properly.

Off to get some of the few Saturday chores completed and perhaps also a bit more decluttering. We shall see what this bitterly cold day will bring.

Everybody have a wonderful day.

God bless.


Friday, January 12, 2024

Frugal Friday


During uncertain times, during rising costs, and during upheavals in the world it pays to be frugal. Being frugal does not mean being cheap. It means purposefully minding where your money is spent so that one can spend where one wishes to spend extra. It is enjoying a simple, yet elegant way of living. Frugal living is also taking care of the environment and using things wisely.

I keep reminding myself of that daily and hoping that I never move into the cheap category.

So here are my frugal five (or so for the week past).

1.  Using up items from the freezers and making big batches. I now have extra for the times I don't feel like cooking.

2.  Cleaning, organizing, decluttering my way to a more simple life. Once it warms up a bit I will have a couple of bags to take to the Salvation Army. Hopefully a few more down the road.

3.  Hand lotion use it up is moving right along. My hands get super dry when knitting in the winter. 

4.  Discovered that warming up a tray of freezer Eggplant Parma once is just great. Warming it up a second time makes it tough and inedible. I need to get smaller tinfoil trays for next year. What a waste of good food.

5.  Put in a new kitchen light above the sink on our own. Gives way more light than the old one, and the need for replacement of the fixture according to the box is 45 years. LED's are awesome.

In case anyone is interested we are under a weather advisory for extreme cold (frostbite could occur in minutes, pretty sure you are too Maebeme). The temperature this morning is -28C with the wind making it feel like -41C.

Got a bit worried about our sons and gave them a call (being in Mom mode to men who are in their 40's). Told them to dress warmly, and asked if they had enough food in the house to last through this. Both said this wasn't the first rodeo of cold weather they had been through and kind of metaphorically patted me on the head. Do we ever stop being "Mom".

Everybody have a wonderful day.

God bless.

Thursday, January 11, 2024

Thrifty Thursday


It is dangerously cold outside and the wind has started to gust a bit. Right now at almost 7 am the temperature is -22C but it feels like -34C. Pretty darn cold, should have taken the garbage out last night, but will brave the short walk to the cans this morning. Today it will be thrifty to stay indoors as much as possible.

I have been working on some thrifty projects. Some that are even clearing space. Just a bit more to accomplish on that front. This is also organizing me better so I can really see what I need to purchase in the near future or down the road a bit. It may also help me declutter.

My oven will be full of muffins today. Those will be wrapped and frozen for breakfasts saving us lots of change. A friend of mine purchases those and tarts about 3 times a week at a cost of approximately $15.00. I can whip up a batch of muffins for much less so both thrifty (I use garden puree or frozen bought on sale fruit) and frugal.

Also, there has been some using up of the cotton yarn stash, some of which was reclaimed from an old blanket I knit years ago, which did not go with our decor.

Lots of dishcloths being whipped up. Some to go in my gift box, some to replace those of mine that are getting old (old ones become cleaning rags) and there will be some to use for the family reunion silent auction. This is really helping tame that stash a little bit.

Now these are the flannelette squares I cut, and will finish the edges at some point this month. These will be used to further my frugal projects next month. I know it looks as if I could have fashioned something wearable out of the fabric, but this was cut out of bits and bobs from other patterns and projects. There was not a piece of fabric big enough to do anything with. I do have a few larger pieces that I think might become aprons as those pieces are more of a heavy cotton. 

On the days that the sun shines I work on the embroidered quilt square. It is slow going as the sunny days are few and far between. 

Now, I was asked if I made my wedding dress.... I was attending university in the months before my wedding and my Mom was busy with the hotel/bar they owned at the time. No time to sew at all. I purchased the simplest gown that I could, and it needed no alterations (thank heavens). I did do a button on the back that lifted the small train up though. That made it much easier to dance. 

Everybody have a wonderful day. 

God bless.

Wednesday, January 10, 2024

Midweek, Why Does It Seem to Come So Quickly?

It seems like I am always saying that Wednesday arrives too quickly, but to me it does. I could also say Saturdays arrive too quickly as well. That is the day I phone my youngest brother, who has schizophrenia and at most a grade 6 understanding. I phone him every week, except while we are on holiday or away visiting someone. 

So first off today I tried to keep track of my Cheesy Beef and Noodle Casserole ingredients.

So here they are to the best of my knowledge.

Cheesy Beef and Noodle Casserole

2 1/2 cups of cooked noodles (I usually use about 3 cups of cooked noodles, but was running out of those for some reason)

2 cups diced leftover roast

1 medium diced onion (I ended up using some onion powder I need to use up)

1 tsp or so of oil to cook the onion in

1/2 cup frozen peas (I have made this with frozen mixed veggies as well)

1 1/2 cups grated cheese 

1 tsp Worcestershire Sauce

1/2 tsp minced garlic

1 can cream of mushroom soup

splash of milk (usually use a splash of water to rinse out the soup can, but as I have some shelf stable milk that needs using did this instead.

season with salt and pepper

Cook noodles as directed, drain and place into a casserole. Fry the onion and minced garlic in oil until golden brown or just softened as you prefer. While that is cooking add the peas, diced beef, 1/2 cup cheese, Worcestershire Sauce, soup, the washed out remains of the soup can to the noodles. Add the cooked onion and garlic to the casserole. Season with salt and pepper. Stir until well combined. Top with remaining cheese.

Bake at 350F for about 45 minutes or until bubbly and cheese is melted. 

At 2 pm on January 10, 1976 Harvey and I were married. This is a picture of the two of us with my Grandparents at our supper in the church basement. Harvey's grandparents were unable to attend as they were just too infirm at this time. I rather think the reason was that they did not speak English very well. We did drop in after the ceremony to visit with them before we headed into the city to pose (and I mean pose) for photos. 

That day was actually just beautiful, sunny and very warm for a January on the Saskatchewan prairies. 

Taking it easy today and just enjoying the fact that we have been married for 48 years. 

Everybody have a wonderful day. 

God bless.


Tuesday, January 9, 2024

Tuesday Tidbits


Good morning everyone. It is still a cold day, but by the time I head out to the mobile clinic things should have warmed up a tiny bit. Here is hoping that the mega cold front does not reach here or where our son lives in this province as forecasted. It could at least mellow by a couple of degrees.

I hope to have some pictures for you tomorrow, and a bit of a glimpse into what frugal habit I want to work on next month. I am not too sure if Harvey will approve, but I want to give it a try if at all possible. 

I am going to have to change our menu already this week. Turns out there is a great deal of leftover Eggplant Parma, so we shall have another meal of that instead of the soup and sandwich meal I had planned. Since I have one soup and sandwich meal a week on the plan, I will make my Moroccan Lentil Soup next week instead. Not a biggy in the grand scheme of life. 

I was asked to share my Cheesy Beef Noodle Casserole recipe and will do so after I write it down. I usually just throw things together for this one. So expect that tomorrow as well.

Things are going pretty much as usual around the old homestead. I want to do some drawings of my planting for next year as well as decide if I need to purchase a few more pots early in the season. Also looking at a bit of landscaping to be done. Not much really just a trellis and a small bed to kind of block off the sightline to the firepit. We have a rather large two story (well almost could be considered a three story as the basement is 6' out of the ground) duplex behind us and their outside decks can look right in our yard. It never bothered me until I noticed the owners gazing and pointing at us one evening. Definitely need our own private space. 

I hope that the brother-in-law that asked to be picked up from the hospital today does well with his tests, and that he will be able to drive home on his own. If not he will just have to stay here until I get back from my mammogram. Hopefully his car starts as they do not have plug-ins for anyone other than staff at the hospital. 

Everybody have a wonderful day.

God bless.

Monday, January 8, 2024

Menu Monday

 Brr, it is cold outside this morning. It is -16C, but with the wind chill it feels like -24C. We are also continuing with the snow. The amount of snow to fall today has decreased though.

I was asked if I could change my mammogram appointment to another day if I was still under the weather. I guess I could, but that would probably mean going through the doctor and getting an appointment at the private clinic in the city. They do so many tests for the Health Region while doing the tests that some people are willing to pay for. That could take months to get in to as well. Pretty sure this mobile clinic is filled up as it covers the entire south east corner of the province so finding a new date and time would be very difficult.

Still feeling slightly ill, but the sore throat is not as bad this morning, and while my nose is plugged and I still cough a bit things are beginning to look up. I will wear a mask while getting the exam just to keep whatever I have to myself.

Now on to this weeks menu plans.


Eggplant Parma. I might try and make some garlic bread using slices of my homemade bread.


Leftover roast beef package from freezer made into a beefy, cheesy noodle casserole. Served with raw veggies and dip.


Soup and sandwiches. I plan on making a big pot of Moroccan Lentil Soup and serving that with either salmon or tuna sandwiches. Got lots of lentils in the pantry as well as tins of fish that need using. The extra soup will be packaged up and put in the freezer.


Leftover roast beef casserole with a veggie on the side.


Fish fillets, rice and mixed veggies. The rice could be changed to some warmed up potato patties (need to make those and freeze them today).


Sweet and Sour ribs, rice, and peas.


Baked ham, scalloped potatoes, and corn or perhaps baked beans. 

So that is the plan for this week. I should end up with a few packages of ham in the freezer, and a bit less in the freezer drawers over all.

I bought some sausage meat on my last trip on very deep discount and I hope to use up the remaining puff pastry sheets making sausage rolls for the freezer. Just need to find a good and easily followed recipe and I will get those done today while the eggplant is warming up in the oven. I really am trying to plan ahead and get meals ready for those days I just am too tired or sick to cook. As everyone says, those are the days you get delivery or take out and I am trying to cut back even more on those days.

Everybody have a wonderful day. 

God bless.