Friday, April 21, 2017

Friday, Sun, flowers, three ring circus

     It is sunny out!  I did not get much sleep last night.  The sun is out!  I am going to plant some flowers.  The sun is out!  I have so much work left to do in the shop.  The sun is out!

     In laws and Hubs left this morning for a day trip.  Thought Hubs would kill his father.  He didn't and the circus left.  Really I was singing the Looney Tunes these when they left.  Taking two 90 year old people anywhere is like packing with quadruplets, even for a day.

     I sewed like a mad woman yesterday.  I am going to take some time today and work outside I don't care how busy the shop is.  I bought a few flowers for some boxes yesterday.  I will take pictures of the backyard for you to compare as I know all of you are just dyeing  (is that grammatically correct)to see the work in progress, Right? RIGHT? RIGHT? 
     I also planted my garden seeds, and paid all the bills for the month.  So it was a productive day to say the least. 

     It is quiet here after a week  (well 4 days of solid noise).  I am going to enjoy my day.  My phone is dead.  Not on purpose mind you.  But I will take advantage of this.  Yeah I will.

Have a great and productive day!


Thursday, April 20, 2017

Thursday, what happened to Wednesday?

     Wow I lost a whole day!  How did that happen?  The shop runneth over.  It started at 9:30 and went until 6:30 non stop.  No time to post I guess. I so wanted to get outside as it was beautiful but that did not happen.  Now it is raining sideways.  So I guess I have no excuse but to work.  Blah!

     Hub's is taking his folks up to Spokane tomorrow to see daughter and baby.  So I will have a quiet day.  Well as quiet as my sewing machine will be anyway.

     Put a corned beef in the crock pot yesterday and it was not done by dinner so we had pancakes, sausage and eggs.  I think it will be done today.  So I don't have to worry about dinner.

     I am desperately trying to think of reasons to do nothing but sulk about the weather and I really cannot come up with anything.  So I will pay a few bills and get to work.

Have a great and productive day!


Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Tuesday, The Winner is?


Please send me your address and I will send you your apron!  I will host another drawing May 1st so stay tuned.

     Started all dances tonight.  It was a long, short 4 hours if that is possible.  Hub's folks have not driven me nuts yet.  However my mother went back over to sisters so not sure what is going on there. M-in-law is dictating what I eat as usual.  Watches everything I put in my mouth. I was told tonight that people who are struggling with their weight need to eat a good breakfast.  ( I don't usually eat breakfast)  But what is the hidden meaning here?  

     Shop was busy and will be busier tomorrow.  I started out with a grandmother who was taking a class in making a Native Ribbon shirt and missed the last two classes and now grandson has a pow-wow on Thursday.  So she brought over her pieces and I sat her down at mom's machine and let her sew it together with my coaching.  I have made way too many ribbon dance shirts.  I did set her collar as that is really tricky, but she left after an hour and was so happy with her little ribbon shirt.  My last appointment was at 9:15 at night after I taught dance.  Some girl from a small burg outside of Lewiston that was in town for a volleyball tourney.  Needs dress by Friday when she will be in town for finals and then her prom is on Saturday.  Have a couple more Saturday dresses coming in tomorrow.  Yikes!

     I was hoping to get a little yard work done tomorrow but I don't thing that will happen, unless I get out at about 5:30 to say 7:30.  A girl can dream you know.....

     I would really like to get the rest of the bark laid out back and my flower beds cleaned out.  Hub's did not get to mow today as it rained hard until about 2:30, then the sun came out and it was too wet.

     We need to get new chicks and I am not up for the extra work right now.  Ugh.

     Making corned beef for dinner, I can crock pot it and be done.

     I am hungry, I hope my m-in-law is asleep....... 

Have a great and productive day!


Monday, April 17, 2017

Monday night late!

We got back into town about 6 this evening after spending the last 9 days with our youngest grandson and his older brother.  This one was born on our 37th wedding anniversary.  Isn't he cute?  Doesn't his grandmother need her roots done? This was taken on his 1st birthday.  Boy do we love our grandsons they are so much more fun than our kids.  It was a very relaxing time but it was too long.  They say fish and company stink after three days and I believe that. I was able to sleep  many more hours than I usually do here.  I also was able to rest from the constant run I am on at home with the shop and mom.  Now my lil sis is about ready to kill me as she says I have been gone for 12 days, (not true) and we brought Hub's folks home with us as his mom really needs a break from his dad.  So we will be a house full of old folks for at least the next 5 days.

     I will try to get the winner up for the apron give away tomorrow or Wednesday, sorry I am so behind.  It is just my life right now.  Don't know if I will be able to come up for air for the next two months.  I will be so busy in the shop at least the next three weeks.  Prom dresses and wedding dresses are coming out my ears and I had several phone calls every day I was out of town so many more will come in this next week.  Gasp~!

     Hub's mom was up all night last night with an ear ache, crimmy, she was in the med fast center by 8 this morning and left with 2 prescriptions.  She has an infection.  Any kind of infection when one is 89 is serious.  I drove folks car with mom and she was pretty quiet most of the way.  She needs rest, poor darling.  Hubs drove our truck with his dad.  We made the 5 hour trip from their house into about a 7 hour trip by stopping at the old homestead in Wieser Idaho, so dad could tromp around the land of his youth.  Mom stayed in the car.  She is such a trooper.  No complaining.  Then dad thought we were going to take them home, he forgot he had packed to come stay with us.  It is difficult to be with someone with dementia on an every day basis.  Hopefully we can get hub's mom rested up and take them back home next weekend.

     I am very tired and will be skipping my weekly savings post.  Will take it up again next Monday.
We came home to a lawn that is over grown and a pond that needed filling.  The french drain is essentially done and I will try to take picks of our work up to this point tomorrow if I have time between the shop and teaching and the folks, and, and....

I was able to get all of my music pulled while at my daughters, as she has a music library like no other and I just had to tell her what I needed and she started pulling pieces and it is done!  Now onto the choreography.

     My daughter works way too hard.  It concerns me.  She does have full time live in help but her job is so stressful.  I love her mother-in-law who lives with them and has since her first son was born 6 years ago.  She is your typical Italian grandmother and so dedicated to her grandsons.  She is a fabulous cook, and works constantly at laundry and other things.  Daughter is so lucky to have this type of help and this woman never interferes in my daughters married life, she is practically perfect.  I just worry about burn out and the heavy caseload daughter has,the criminals she deals with, the lack of support she receives on the state and local level.  Her specialty is repeat DUI's, forgeries, and drug cases.  She and her husband make a good living but at what cost?  Hopefully she will be able to break into another form of law in another few years.  She is very, very good at what she does.  And when you are very good you get very used.

     I was able to get 7 cowgirl costumes done and sashes and sleevelettes done for daughters 2 ballet classes while I was away.  Yes daughter still teaches one night a week.  It is her hobby and believe me she needs this.  I also caught up the mending, and hemmed several pairs of pants, altered a few dresses for daughter.

     I haven't talked to my twin in 10 days and I am anxious to catch up with her.

     I have to pay bills and get accounts squared away tomorrow.  So I am signing off.

Sleep tight.


Thursday, April 6, 2017

Thursday, My inner brat is happy

     Thank you ,thank you, my inner brat thanks you. I whined and I got my wish.  See it still works.  Does not work with hubs however.

     Spent all day in the yard yesterday, then sewed in the evening.  We are getting there.  Hubs has bad allergies right now.

     The weather is holding.

     We are about 6 buckets away from being done with the drain, we also have to  do the edging. 

I put the slate walk way together yesterday afternoon.  It looks great.  I also tore up three large walking stones so I could level the soil under neath them.  I had to soften the dirt and I hope I can get that done today.  I can't believe with as much rain as we have had how hard the clay dirt gets.

Well that back yard is calling me.  It is supposed to be sunny tomorrow so I want to get all the grunge work done in the house so I can play.

Have a great and productive day!


Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Wednesday, making progress...

     I am making progress on the French drain, thank the good Lord.  My hands and back have about had it.

     I am also making great progress on my debt and I am very proud of myself.  Onward and upward.

     It is spring break here so no matter how much I sew and finish items no one wants to pick up as they are all going or have gone away and they don't want to give me there money as they need it for their vacation.  So I sit and sew and stuff piles up.

     I went up stairs to do the dishes last night and then cleaned my fridge.  It was disgusting.  Mom is very messy and she spills things doesn't see and tries to clean things up and doesn't see then leaves the mess to dry out.  Did I mention she can't see?

     Made a wonderful stir fry last night with chicken.  Nummy.

Not to be a complainer but I paid off a rather large debt and not one person said anything.... Do you even read the crap I write.  This is a debt pay off/ my life/ nonsense blog.  But I need , I need, I need, praise, sniff, sniff, whine.

I am going out to my rock pile to cry.

Have a great and productive day.


Monday, April 3, 2017

Tuesday, Drum Roll Please!!!!!

     I am going to pay off Sears today!  Yes, yes I am.  How's that for hard work and skimping?  Now, it is  onto new tires for my car as they are bald, and then I am going to hit that very obnoxious Studio lock loan.  That bugger will be zapped soon, I tell you.  That is as far as my plans go.  Just continue to make regular monthly payments on debts and attack one loan at a time.

     It was beautiful yesterday and I spent many hours in the yard.  Between customers and prom dresses that is....  I did my daily quota in the shop and I took in more work.  Prom dresses with lots of bead and sequin work are a pain.  I had one refitting today of a dress that needed to come up in the shoulders, so I had to remove the sleeves, and there were beads everywhere.  The sleeve holes had to be cut down and now I have to replace the sleeves.  I think I will hand baste due to all the beads.  Also have a refit tomorrow of a beaded top.

      Mom made hub's a sandwich in the late afternoon so I got out of making dinner last night.  Yeah.  Won't be so lucky today.

     Have to get mom to make more cookies as I have to run some to the salvation army soup kitchen some time today.  It is my turn and I forgot about it.  Too busy shoveling rock.

     It is very nice again today so as soon as I get my quota done in the shop and get mom's cookie ingredients lined out I am going outside.  I am cleaning the rock out of the garden area now and it is very time consuming.  I have to dig down at least a foot to expose all the rock that was thrown out of the drains.   At least it isn't wet.

     We had a wind come up and take our patio umbrella for a sail, but it landed in such a way that it shattered our patio table.  It was such a mess.  I could not believe  how small the slivers of glass were.  I made Hub's clean it up.  He asked me what I wanted for our anniversary and I said a new patio table I guess.  So much better than a diamond.  Right?

    I had a girl friend bring over her late motherinlaws sewing machine in its cabinet.  The cabinet need to be refinished on top.  (good job for Hubs).  I will remove the machine, but I love the cabinet.
Then she also brought over a small dresser that is narrow and tall.  It is full of sewing supplies.  I don't have time to go through it right now, but I am excited to see what I find.  It also needs repainting.  It is a project for another day.

     Will make a stir fry for dinner. Can't wait to get out in the sun again.

Have a great and productive day.



Sunday, April 2, 2017

Monday, Cheery Cherry Apron give away.

 Cheery Cherry Apron and Monday Saving Madness
     April 1st (okay two days late) I was to busy being a Fool on Saturday).  Here it is  cheery cherry apron give away.  Again I did not watch mom and she cut this darling pattern upside down.  It is a lined one size fits all dbl pocket apron, with one scrappy hot pad as mom cannot waste anything.  You will have a chance put in the drawing for every comment you leave, from now until the 16th of April.  You can also get  an extra entries by linking to my blog.   

   Big things going on around here.  I was able to work for about 16 hours in the back yard Friday and Saturday.  My Lil sis helped me alot.  There is still so much left to do out there. I do have both of the patios cleared off, but we need to find places for dirt and I have done nothing to clean the rock out of the garden area.  There is still an entire slate path to put back together and we have to tear up part of a flat brick patio as it has started to sag near the house.  Hubs purchased two bags of sand to help with the leveling.  Anyway lil sis and I took about 20 bags of garden and yard trash to the dump and I have not even started on the flower beds.  We also went to the dump, dump with many items so a good clean out it was.  This was without Hub's as he always argues about what is trash.  I try to do this without him.  It saves an argument.

     I have worked so hard I am exhausted.  My hands are so sore and my back is on fire. 
  I was trying frantically to finish up part of the yard and get the house cleaned up.  Every sink and pathway was a mud dump.  Even though I leave my garden clogs at the door, I still drag so much dirt through the house.  It is wet muddy work and I have to use the facilities and then my pants have dirt and mud all over them.  I am just like pig pen.

     I was able to get the master bed linens changed and the master bath and bedroom nice and sparkly, I also was able to do the spare room and guest bath which was a horrible mud mess as I use the bath the most.  I had swept all the dirt and removed all the throw rugs and had them piled in the formal front room where of course the dog had chewed up pine cones all over the Persian rug.  Finally I realized there was no way I could get it all done before I had to pick up hub's at the airport so I jumped in the tub and washed my hair, I figured he could have a clean house or a clean wife.  I still have not cleaned up the front room or the kitchen floor.  I figure I will just trash them again when I work outside.

     Sunday was conference so we stayed home and watched it on Youtube.  I then went to lil sis's to help her hang drapes.  I took over my big steamer and that made pressing them, much easier.  We had two picture windows and 4 smaller widows to do, and they look really nice.  Came home and made homemade spaghetti and french bread.

     On my way back from the chicken coop I turned my left ankle.  It is a little weak from and old injury.  I tore the crap out of the tendons and broke it at my dad's funeral about 13 years ago.  So now it is black and blue on top of the tarsal bones and very sore.  I can walk on it but have to be careful.  No taking long walks or exercise videos for a while I am afraid. Anyway enough whining.


1.  I did not cook one meal while hub's was gone, I just ate what I could find that was easy.
2.  Mom and I had Taco Time coupons for our birthday.  Buy one item get one free.  So we used those.  Cost was under $10.00 for both meals
3.We went out to dinner one night and mom and I split an entree as I can never finish anything and neither can she. We still brought home left overs.  Which we ate for lunch the next day.
4. Only spent $35.18 on groceries used coupons for about $18.00 of this.
5.  Did not go to Jo-anns at all
6. Had my bath rugs in the guest bath start to fray around the edges.  I carefully resewed them by hand saving on buying new ones.
7.  Lil sis works for a non profit that has a food bank attached.  Every two weeks they must get rid of produce.  They cannot give it to another food bank.  So I received a large box full of beautiful oranges and apples, and carrots.  I felt bad but meth addicts can't chew and citric acid is painful for them.
8.I never by small trash bags but use plastic grocer bags.  I save them and use at least one everyday to dispose of cat litter.
9. Bought a large bag of over ripe bananas for $1.00 ( then mom killed the bread but we ate it anyway)
10.  Picked up 6 pair of really nice slipper socks for Christmas.  Regularly $6.99 marked down to .99, these will go with  Christmas jammies I bought for $3.00, for my girls, mom and I.

  What did you do this week to save money?

Have a great and productive day!




Friday, March 31, 2017

Friday, The sun is shining!

  Hip, Hip, Hooray!  I am doing back flips. I have a few things I must complete in the shop and then I am going outside.  I can hardly wait.

     The shop was busy yesterday, I am so blessed.  I was able to get outside for about 3 hours late in the afternoon.  It was a little sunny a few times but mostly cloudy, at least it was not raining.  I am making slow progress, on the drain.  There is one more huge pile of rock to sort on the patio and then I must attack the garden area.  My oh my what a project.  Never again.  I just want my back yard back.

     Last night Lil sis and mom and I went out to dinner and then went to Sis's to watch a movie and have a slumber party.  I just went right to bed as I am a party pooper and we were all so tired.  Not much party left in us old gals.

     Mom made banana bread yesterday and  I did not set out her ingredients, what a mess.  She was so upset as she is really a very good baker, but that woman cannot see to save her soul.  We can still eat it, just not present it.

     The house is a dirty wreck, as it always is when I work out in the yard.  It gets no love and I am tracking in mud and dirt.  Every sink is a splashed muddy mess. So tomorrow I really must do some housework.  Blah!

     I wants to play in the dirt.

Have a great and productive day!


Thursday, March 30, 2017

Thursday, I'm going to get the weatherman

     I know, I know you are tired of me complaining about the weather. Right?  Well too bad, I suffer, you suffer.  See what a nice person I am?  It rained all Dam% day, yesterday.  I could not go out and even work in drizzle as the ground was so wet I lost one of my clogs going out to feed the chickens.  Needless to say I had to change my socks, and of course they were white.  So I sewed all day, which was good in some ways but I am still not caught up.

     Now I won't complain about that as I have learned not to tempt fate.  Okay I really haven't learned that; I tempt fate all the time.  I am just so grateful to have the work.

   The weatherman has said it is going to clear off a little tomorrow.  What is a little?  I need absolute answers here.  I know the weatherman personally, and I know where he lives.  He and I might just be having a little talk.  He can't go hide out to his cabin up at the reservoir either because I know where that is also, and besides there was a rock slide closing the road out there.  We have horrible rock slides here. 

     Tailoring men's suits is not my favorite.  Taking in the shoulders is a pain, but I have it down to science now.  Does anybody tailor anymore? Alterations are different than tailoring.  Tailoring is a science unto itself.  It involves math.  I was very good at math, so my fate (there I am again on temptation) was to have to tailor.  Between wedding dresses, (I am the only one who will do them in a 200 mile radius), men's suits, and military dress uniforms, I am about done in.  Men's stuff is just harder.  I will be so glad when I am done with this lot.  Whine, Whine, sniff, I am such a boob.

     Have a great and productive day.




Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Wednesday, Project from Hell!

     I was able to get out and move 6 buckets of rock yesterday.  I went out about 4 p.m. and it was sprinkling lightly and continued to do that the entire time.  It was warm enough if you were working hard.  I just wish for a little sunshine.  Today is horribly rainy and over cast.  But I decided if it is not pouring I can do a couple of hours of work out there daily.  It seems like it is one of those no progress jobs.  So if I clean and move 6 buckets a day how long will it take me?  That is math problem I don't even want to figure out.  Project  from Hell!

     Hubs has sent really cute pictures of the baby who will be a year old and he is so big.  I can't wait to see him in April.  It is nice a quiet here with just mom and me.  I sort of love it actually.  Except Hub's is some help on the &^%$# French drain project.  He asked me if I was going to have it all done when he got back,  I swear there was a garden hoe next to me and I thought about hitting him with the darn thing.  Like in your dreams buddy.

      I have a ton of sewing to do today and I would like to work on Mom's etsy shop some.  It really takes time to list things and as I like to waste the time I do have, well not much is getting done.

     Let's see there are at least 3 more wedding dresses and 5 prom dresses and 4 business suits, and a pile of mending and small things so I had better get my to it, I needs the money.

     You know if I did not have any debt, I don't think I would work at all I would just sit around all day eating bon bons, reading romance novels, and napping.

     By the way I hate romance novels, unless they are truly good literature.

Have a great and productive day,  I can hear a bon bon calling me


Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Tuesday, Making Progress

     As we near the end of the month and it is hard to believe it is almost April, I have to write that I am really proud of my progress with my bills (debt).

     It has been a tough few months with the weather.  I really depend on the shop for all gas and grocery or extra money.  Pay checks or retirement money pays the bills and the debts.  When you have no cash flow you have to rob Peter to pay Paul.  Since we remodeled the kitchen money has been really tight.  I have been trying really hard to not spend foolishly and to watch my pennies.

     As the shop seems to be back on track I feel more confidant about getting things paid off. Since the first of the year I have paid off several smaller debts, mostly from Christmas, which would have been no debt at all except that the weather closed down the shop.  I also finally paid off the last of daughters wedding.  So listed in the column on the left are things that I have paid in full.

     My next debt I hope to pay is Sears, I hope to have this by the end of the month.  I do have to pay Federal taxes and I must put new tires on the Forester.  If I can get those things accomplished by the end of April I will be pretty darn proud of myself.

     Every month we add over $1000.00 to the principle of our house.  It is amazing to see the numbers fall.  I want so badly to eliminate the studio lock loan and get a significant part of the home improvement loan paid before the end of the year.  I know I will get the lock loan paid.  In addition there are other bills that I pay on monthly.  They will be there for a while.  I feel that once I get the lock paid and the home improvement paid I can go to the Credit union and  get them to give me a signature loan to pay off the remainder of the studio CC which has a higher interest.  In the mean time I will keep plugging along.

     I am making progress, it is slow, but I am blessed with work.  I am blessed with the ability to do the work and for that I am truly grateful.

Have a great and productive day!


Sunday, March 26, 2017

Monday, Money Saving Madness

     Here it is Monday again.  The weekend went by so fast.  It rained off and on all day Saturday but when it wasn't raining I was in the back yard working on the french drain.  I feel like I have spent forever in the dirt and muck and I am not making any progress.

     On Saturday, grandson went out with me for a while and crawled around in the mud and tasted rocks.  We had so much fun.  Mud Grandmas are the best kind of Grandma.  Then we went inside a took a bath because we were both very dirty.  That was also fun.  He had a warm bottle of milk and I had a soda and we took a nap.

     Sunday I had a long nap after church I told hub's if he woke me up he was dead.  But mom of course came messing in the room to see what was for dinner.  She never says anything just squirrels around until I get up.  I think Hub's put her up to it.

     The shop is swamped so I will be busy all week.  I am happy about it let me tell you.  That 2.5 months of solid bad weather and snow was horrible on my cash flow.  I am still climbing out.  So I need all the work I can get.

 Things I did this week to save money:

1. Cooked all meals at home from pantry stock (except for Birthday dinners)
2.  Let mom take me out to diner on Thursday for my birthday
3. Had dinner at Sis' for my birthday (hey free food counts)
4.  Made homemade cookies for mom's church that she was asked to bring
5.  Used coupons for groceries and free items from Albertson's monopoly game
6. Stayed home Wednesday spending no money or gas
7. Fed all scraps to chickens to supplement their food
8.  Always use cloth napkins for all meals
9.  Use a sponge for spills and clean up, (I can make a roll of paper towels last a month)

Have a great and productive day!


Saturday, March 25, 2017

Saturday, I will do what I want day

     Yeah I get to do what I want today.  Well as long as grandson approves.  He is such a big help.

I had a wonderful birthday dinner with my two younger girls my lil sis, mom and Hub's.  I am not used to having a fuss made on my birthday so it was nice.

It is supposed to be somewhat nice today so I plan to work in the yard asap.  I might be chased out by rain drops.

Yesterday I was working on a wedding dress and grandson crawled in and distracted me.  I had the serger needle go through the front part of my pointer nail.  The machine stopped, I screamed people came running.  Daughter saw immediately what was happening and blood was oozing up  and I was working on a wedding dress.   She had a soda in her hand and put it on the floor to snatch up the dress and figure how to move it out of harms way.  Hub's is trying to see how to get my finger off the machine.  I am screaming "Don't touch it", Don't touch it"  so afraid he will go through it again.  In the mean time grandson picks up soda and spills it all over the floor just under the dress daughter is holding.  So we get Hub's to remove grandson and come clean the floor.  I slowly disengage finger.  Luckily it went through the artificial nail first and then into nail side ways and out so a good puncture wound.  Hurts like hell, and I had tears running down my face for about an hour.  The finger had a heart beat of its own.  It is still sore to the touch.  That ended my day of sewing.

     Anyway I had a great birthday and thanks for all the well wishers, I am off to get some fun in the back yard.

have a great and productive day!

Friday, March 24, 2017

Friday, Happy Birthday Sissie!

   It is my twin sister's birthday today, so that means it must be mine also.  But she is older so there.  I have a busy day ahead of me.  Lot's of alteration appointments and work to do.

    Both kids are coming in to have dinner at my sister's place.  I am not used to having a big deal made of my birthday unless it is a ten year celebration.  Right now my grandson is here destroying the house and he is so much fun.

     Mom took hub's and I out to dinner last night and actually paid for it graciously. Remember mom pays for nothing.  So that was nice.

Grandson is entertaining us by crawling up and down the stairs and emptying all trash cans.  Such a help he is.

  The cats are trying desperately to get away from grandson.  This should be a fun day.

I was able to work in the yard for about 3 hours yesterday, but it feels like it is just a drop in the bucket. I know you eat an elephant one bite at a time, it is just that this is one big elephant.

     Well I had better get to work.

Have a great and productive day!


Thursday, March 23, 2017

Thursday, I am seeing spiders

     One forgets just what a miracle life really is until you see a baby that is just minutes old.  Their skin is so soft and translucent like velvet.They are so beautiful.  So this new little cousin is now part of our universe.  I spent the day with his older brothers, and even though I was not home sewing I still had work come in that needs to be done tomorrow.  So on top of everything else it will be a busy day.

     Hub's said it is supposed to be nice today so maybe if I get busy right away this morning I can get a few hours in the yard.

     Yesterday I had an eye doctor appointment at 1 in the afternoon.  The baby was supposed to be induced Thursday but they moved it up so I had Hub's come by the house to sit with the 3 year old while I ran over to the eye doctor.  Well the secondary cataract on my right eye was so bad the doctor insisted that I go right into surgery.  I guess with my Sjogren's syndrome he did not want the eye getting any tighter or drier.  So I called hub's and said I was going to be lazered.  It was really quite painless, just like little stabbing pricks that went away immediately.  Usually you have two or three zaps but I had about 12, the doctor said the cataract was alot thicker than it appeared.  My eyes always have something weird.  Anyway now I am seeing these little black spiders that look like flies I am trying to bat away.  I guess this will last about 24 hours.  I am anxious to see how much clearer my vision is after the dilation is completely gone.  In the mean time stay out of my way as I am slapping the air in attempts to bat away the bugs that are flying around my head.

     I hope it is warm and sunny today I could really use some worm and sunny.  BAT, Slap...

Have a great and productive day!



Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Wednesday, wiped out

     It was a crazy hard day on Tuesday.  I got started a little late and the projects I had lined up to work on were hard.  Tailoring is completely different than alterations.  It is detailed and difficult and I had to tailor an expensive mans suit.  Jackets are tough when the shoulders have to come in.  It is a math puzzle to take in certain seams and return the arm  of the jacket back to the body, then all the padding and under seams and the lining all has to be reattached by hand.  Very time consuming and difficult.  Then I had to baste the dried wedding dress back together and but in a bustle as the bride will be here on Thursday.   I just felt like I was hunched over the machine and really did not finish any thing and then it was time to teach.

     I arrived home a little after nine and had to take in and hem a pair of tux pants and finish the Jacket of the suit I had been working on earlier.  I am going to take care of my nephews little boys today as their mom is having another baby.  I also have an eye doctor appointment at 1:00 I need another cataract surgery.  This will be minor but still must be done.  Anyway no sewing today as I will be dealing with the boys.  So Thursdays work had to be completed.

     Did you know you can do and entire 48 minute walking/exercise video with hand weights with your eyes closed most of the time? I know this is possible because I did it last night before I went to bed, I was so tired.

     I am still so tired.  The weather is  mostly awful.  At least that keeps me from being drawn outside.

I need a nap.Maybe I can slip one in while watching the youngest boy who is 3 while the others are at school.  After I take all of them to see their new brother I will need to take them home and feed them and get them to bed.  I think Mc Donalds is calling my name, I am that kind of Aunt.

Have a great and productive day!


Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Tuesday, My Monday....

     My day started out with wedding dresses.  I had one come in that was so dirty on the bottom.  It was either a shop model and tried on a lot or it was used.  I had ripped down the sides to take it in and I knew the dirty under arms would disappear with the alterations but the bottom?  So it got a bath with ivory soap and warm water. See the yellow clog's marking the first day of spring.  Bottom of dress and train in soapy tub. 

 Here the poor darling is drip drying, I will alter it tomorrow and then bustle it up.
       This poor darling is a third generation dress that is getting an over haul.  Unfortunately it was very yellowed and reaked of nicotine .  So it was soaked for an hour in biz.  Look at the color of the water.  New water and a fresh cup of biz and let it soak for 2 days then after it drips dry I will figure out how we will rework it to the brides liking.    

     I sewed most of the day, the shop was very busy.  I took in another wedding dress that was so smelly from cigarettes it is hanging in the garage and will have to air there for a few days before I bring it in the shop.  Or I might throw it is the dryer with a dryer sheet on air fluff.

     This is the time of year the shop gets busy.  I really have to stay on top of things.  Right now the house needs love, I need to take down and put away St Patricks day that will only take a few minutes.  Mom will want to decorate for Easter.  I want to find time to do this before I have to go and take care of my niece that is having a baby Wednesday morning.

            This mess is the garden spot.  Terrifying, rock ways torn up, such a disaster.       

Here you see part of the drain I started to reconstruct and the flag stone path that is torn up.  Oh and the cat that helps.

  Here is the dog that helps and the stairs that will be redone and the brick walkway, the drain pipe and the general mess.  Ugh!

 Stairs that will be replace and the entire deck repainted.  So much flippen work.
  A view of the drain going to the turn around the end of the lot.  Piles of rock and dirt covering every patio and surface.
 See the piles of rocks that have to be cleaned.  This large patio also has to be leveled as it is dipping in the center and needs to slope away from the house.  So much work. I built this patio 25 years ago it is set on leveled sand.  But I am much older now.
 Here is the twenty feet that I started leading from the pond drain.  I did it wrong and I have to redo it.  I cried when I found out, but at least the rock is clean.
The disaster from another angle.

So this is my day washing wedding dresses and sewing and trying to spend a few hours out in the mess of a back yard.

 The shop is really busy, mom is not feeling well and I have to teach today.  It is going to be a long day.

So you guys out there knock yourselves out, I am going to.

Have a great and productive day! 


Sunday, March 19, 2017

Monday, When it rains.....Saving Madness!

     We are still fighting with the weather man and it seems that we cannot get more than 24 hours without some kind of downpour or flurry.  It is the first day of spring and I have never seen a spring like this in the 30 years I have lived here.

Friday mom and I made up our cake.  I use the second tier of a wedding pan set I have.  It is nice because it has petals and holds the pineapple so well.  It makes a beautiful huge upside down cake. I used two white cake mixes and I always take at least 2 cups of batter out, or it over flows. I went to help a bride, mom put all in and slipped it into the oven.  What a mess.  Batter every where.  I kept opening the oven and scraping out the mess so the burning would not affect the flavor of the cake.  When it was done I just left the oven open and went out to work in the yard.  I had to let the oven cool.

The cake was beautiful and well received at the auction. We attended with mom and had fun trying to outbid each other for goodies.  Saturday morning we went to the Annual Sons of Norway spring breakfast, in the pouring rain by the way. I had still not cleaned up the kitchen.

I was able to get about 5 hours of work done outside. (Friday)  It was beautiful and I was sure sore.  I over did it can you believe that?  Thank goodness it was very crappy Saturday or I might just have ended up in traction.  I finally cleaned the kitchen really well late Saturday night it took over two hours.

Spent several hours outside working on the drain after church.  I would normally never do this on the Sabbath but I just wanted to be outside. I had a Corned beef and veggies cooking in the crock pot so I spent my time soaking up the sun and washing rock. It is back breaking work and we were not sure of the new design so we went with our gut which was the wrong gut and the 20 feet I have done has to be redone.  Very discouraging, but at least the rock is clean.  So I will start at the other end and do it right.  I have to take some pictures for you and post then tomorrow, the back yard is such a mess and I don't know if it will ever be back to normal.

Had dinner and it was delicious with plenty of leftovers.  Then laid down with mom and took a nice nap.

I have plenty to do today, as 4 prom dresses came in and two more wedding dresses.  Now I am too busy.  It seems nothing is ever just right.  I believe that is human nature or at least my nature.

I plan on attacking a major men's suit alteration and one prom dress and work two wedding dresses.  It is supposed to be a little rainy so I will only work outside in the later afternoon if possible and I have my sewing done. I just cannot afford to get behind now as my busy season is upon me.

Money saving madness!

These are things I did this week to save money.

1. Cooked all meals but one at home from scratch.  Had one free meal at church.
2. Made a scratch cake instead of buying one for an auction.
3. Used all of our leftovers for lunches
4. Used coupons and stickers for major savings on meat and groceries.
5. played Albertsons Monopoly game and won free, waffles, free donuts, free chick pea spread,
6. fed all scraps to chickens.
7. used coupons to 1/2 off sewing items needed
8.Picked up two pairs of capri work out pants at Penney's, $3.96, $4.96 added a package of work out socks $1.99 to bring total to over to 10.00.  Free ten dollar coupon, so I paid .96 and have a stocking stuffer and new pants

Well I am off to set the world on fire.

Have a great and productive day.


Friday, March 17, 2017

Friday, I got me some sun!

    It was very cold this sun.  It brought with it wind and cool air but I worked in it anyway, because that is how I am.

The french drains are completely cleaned out and hub's and I went to home depot last might for new french drain and ground cloth.  So we have the supplies to start putting it back together.  I can hardly wait, but first I must make a large pineapple cake for a boy scout dessert auction.  Then if I do my other chores I can play outside.  It looks a little overcast so maybe?

There are 8 wedding dresses in the shop right now.  2 are waiting for pick up, two have  been ripped and are waiting for me to baste, with fittings next week. One new one that just came in can be done next week.  I must wash the bottom of one and also soak another antique one in biz for a few days before I get started.  One is a friend of our youngest and her dress has been ripped but is waiting until she arrives home for wedding.  Another is waiting for skirt to come in.

I have prom dresses and business suits.  So all hard work yuck...

Anyway I am off to make a cake!

Have a great and productive day!


Thursday, March 16, 2017

Thursday, Getting some Sun today?

     I woke up to sunshine and now I have to hem four items and then  I am going out side to get dirty.  My shop is full of wedding dresses and items waiting for pickup it will be a busy day.

Got mom through her two appointments yesterday only to find out she will have 10 more this next few weeks. Why I can't get things done.

If people will pick up their finished items I could pay off another debt.  Every one I chip away gives me more money to start on the next one.  I am hoping top be able to knock out another one by the end of the month.

So many things need to be done around here.  I need another eye surgery, my car tires are bald, hub's truck needs to be fixed from a hit and run.  All of this takes money not to speak of new glasses and upcoming dental bills.  I still have dental insurance but hub's does not.  There is always something standing there to take your hard earned money.

I try to be grateful for the fact that we have good teeth and the ability to still earn money, but paying off the debt will help with cash flow and that will help Kim sleep at night.

Well I am off to get some fun!

have a great and productive day!


Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Wednesday, Winner, Winner, Winner!


 This container holds the winner!

           Somewhere in here is the winner.....
               Yeah, Send me your address and I will 
                    send you your apron!

      Mom had an appointment for a shot in her eye at 8:10 this morning, so I was up early, yawn.....

We are supposed to have some sun this afternoon, but it is rainy cold and overcast right now so?
The school bond PASSED!  I am so happy, I know mt property taxes will go, but we need a new high school and you have to pay taxes.  Get over it already.

Mom has another appointment at 3:00 to day yippee!  I am going to get a wedding dress done today and I have two more coming in also today!  Fun.

Will be making enchiladas for dinner, yum.  Usually I make both chicken and beef one with flour and one with corn, then I will freeze a pan.

Have a great and productive day.


Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Tuesday, Last day for Apron give away!

     Today is the last day for the apron give away, so don't forget to enter by leaving a comment.  (see post on March 1st)

     We vote for a new school bond today.  We have been trying to get a new high school built here for 30 years.  It is so hard.  I sure hope it passes this time.

     Still waiting for the weather to co-operate, and I am not waiting patiently I might add.  It is in the mid 50's so warm enough, but not dry enough to do anything outside. Blah!

     I tried really hard yesterday to get some things done and I think I was effective.

Hub's and I went to get much needed grocery items and I went way over my budget, but I will blame it on good meat sales.  Like three packages of rib eye steaks for 80% off.  One package was three steaks under $10.00.  How can you turn that down?  So I over spent at Albertsons by about $40.00.  Then onto Winco and they had chicken legs and thighs in large packages for .69 a pound.  Again over spent.  I have to remind myself that this is how I keep the budget down later.  I ended up with 3 packages of steaks, 2 large packages of stew meat, and enough chicken for 4 meals.  All in all it will feed us for about 15 meals. Taking a husband grocery shopping is like taking a 3 year old. They want everything they see.  Potatoes were .99 a 10 lb bag as the farmers start to kull the cellars.

     Yesterday I made chicken cordon blue with mashed potatoes and peas.  There is enough left over for tonight's dinner. Also made my " clean the crisper salad", with three mealy apples and three limp stalks of celery, 1/2 a small onion, some raisins and walnuts.  It is a family favorite.

    The house desperately needs a spring cleaning, but I want to do this after I get the yard and garden whipped into shape.  Other wise I ignore the house and just toss, throw and shove and undo what I have done.  This causes my daughters to ask the common question, "Mother which one of you personalities made this mess?"

Well I am off to vote and try to get something done in the shop before I have to teach. Alice and Wonderland is on the docket for spring.  Now get 52 kids on stage dressed as a deck of cards all dancing in unison.  I've done it before, I can do it again.

Have a great and productive day!


Sunday, March 12, 2017

Monday, Saving madness

     I survived yet another Celtic show.  The kids did great. I was proud of them.  I am glad it is over.  The house is a wreck, I did get my shop straightened up.  Hub's and I did get to walk the bridges today and that was nice.  It was sunshiny but overcast and warm enough.  I am tired from the rehearsal and show yesterday.  It is so nice to get on to something new.

     There are three weeks of March left and I hope to make the most of them.  Keep my spending down and my work load up. I did get the house payment and sissie's check sent on Saturday between rehearsal and show.  Now I just have to tackle a few other monthly bills and I think I can do that.  I hope I can do that.

     I have taken pictures of several of mom's apron and  potholder combos and I am getting ready to post those to the Etsy site.  I also have many baby things, mostly blankets and burp clothes.  It takes time to set this up and time is something I have not had a lot of, but I think I will be a little more organized now that the show is over.

So on to my Savings for the week:

1. Ate all but one meal at home.
2. Used pantry and freezer stash for meals.
3.  Went grocery shopping with coupons and freebies
4.  Went to rite-aid and added to my stash for 0 dollars using points and coupons
5. Used coupons at Jo-anns for shop supplies
6. fed all table scraps to chickens
7. Made homemade cookies for mom to take to church rather than buying
8. purchased 4 larger plant pots at second hand stores to use in replanting over grown plants.
9. Purchased all my herbs at trader joes in Seattle for 1.99 a piece.  They are usually 4.99 here and I can grow anything but herbs from seed.  ?????
10.Found a plant stand I have been looking for since we redid the dining room.  $19.99 at IKEA sister painted it gloss white for me.
11.  Split one of my African violets into two plants and when it blooms I will give it to someone as a gift.

  We are out of milk, bread, butter, soda, powder sugar, some fresh veggies and fruit, so I will be hitting the store tomorrow.

    Hubs and I will also be going to look at french drain supplies.  I hope to be able to get some work on it this week if the weather holds off a little.

Have a great and productive day.


Saturday, March 11, 2017

Saturday, I got me some SUN!

     Yes it was sunny and warm here today from about 11:00 until 3:00 in the afternoon.  Even though I had plenty to do downstairs and a lot of house work and yard work I ignored all and sat in the sun.

     Mom was  not doing as well as I had hoped today.  She was really unstable and shaky and she wanted some toast in bed.  I went up to make it and the sun was so bright and warm, I ran downstairs and started to pull her clothes together. I reminded her that we had cookies to bake and that perked her up.  She does better if she has a plan for the day and something to do and look forward to. So we had a late breakfast on the deck in the warm sunlight.  WW Toast with butter and home made huckleberry jam.  We also had some of mom's banana bread.

     I then ran up an down stairs waiting on customers as they came.  I rolled out all the shamrock cookies with the back door open.  Lil Sis came over a got mom and I went back out on the deck and sat with my eyes closed in the sun for about an hour and a half.  I actually napped a little.  I realized I could have been doing some yard work but it was so nice to just sit and soak.

   About 3 another customer came and the sun was behind the clouds and it was getting chilly.  I worked a little in the shop, had a bride in at 4 and then I laid down on the couch and slept through the news. Then Hub's and I went to Arby's for their salad bar. I would have preferred to stay home but Hub's and I have not been out to eat in 2 months.  I am really trying to cut back on this and I think he is starting to notice.  Anyway it was nice and only cost $15.65.  Still think of all the salad fixings I could have gotten for that.

     I came home and whipped together a Celtic belt and bow tie for one of the boys. Then I sewed a little more and went upstairs and frosted 74 green shamrock cookies.  Did a 3 mile walk at home video and cleaned up the disaster kitchen.  Since I have an early morning rehearsal at the theater tomorrow I think I had better go to bed.  

Wish me Luck!


Friday, March 10, 2017

Friday, We might see the sun today....

     The news said  it maybe sunny this afternoon and I am praying they are right.  I desperately need sunshine.

     Yesterday I sewed and mom made banana bread with a 1/2 the bag of bananas I bought for .50 on mark down.  I also helped her do up a double batch of sugar cookies.  I will have to roll them out today sometime.  I hope to do it in the Sun  that should be streaming into my kitchen window.  We will do shamrocks, for mom's church and Sis's office.

     I have several things to do in the shop this morning and then I plan to go upstairs and enjoy myself.

I still have to paint a Celtic belt so it can dry by morning.

I have several appointments today in the shop,  I hope people pick up I needs the money.  I am trying to get through the weekend without buying any groceries.  We will see.  I should be able to do this.

     Tomorrow is dress rehearsal in the morning and performance at night.  Can't wait to see my kidlets on stage.

Mom actually cooked dinner again yesterday.  We had scalloped potatoes and ham, but she over cooked the potatoes and it was more like a very thick soup but delicious. Served, with green beans and salad.  I just pulled a bag of ham out of freezer.  You know we have potatoes and onions in this state.

How many meals can one make out of a Large ham, shank?

Cook ham  1 meal plus one additional leftover meal.

sandwich slices,  cold ham sandwich and grilled ham and cheese sandwiches

Freeze ham in packages for:

sliced ham for scalloped potatoes
chopped ham for quiches
bean soup Use bone to make this.
split pea soup
lentil soup

I can usually get 10 to 12 meals off of one ham.  That makes it a very economical meat.

Try it.  How many meals can you come up with?

Have a great and productive day!


Thursday, March 9, 2017

Thursday, I actually did something:)

     My post yesterday was all about my inner brat getting her way, and then sometimes for know reason you can just send that brat to the corner.

     I actually got this old butt of mine moving.  I got up from posting and went upstairs to make mom some french toast.  I know I know I did not want to but I did because mom's outer brat is bigger than my inner brat.

     I left the beds unmade and went to work in the shop.  Hemmed 10 pairs of levis, adjusted 16 hat bands and then got a call from new studio owner wanting me to teach for 1.5 hours.  Of course I did and the kids were cute and fun, but it screwed up my evening.

     However when I got home at 6:15 Mom had cooked dinner.  It was good and I was surprised as she usually won't do this kind of thing.  I mean cooking dinner is helpful.

Hub's was a grump because it poured rain all yesterday and he could not take a walk.  I am afraid we have more of the same today.

     I decided after dinner to go ahead and transplant my house plants.  I had wanted to do this outside but I never have a chance when it is not raining, so I made a mess of the kitchen and then cleaned it up.  I was so happy to get that off my list.  The plants were happy also as they had on shoes that were just too tight.  Split my African violet in 1/2 and I will use it for a gifty for someone special.

     Then I got  call from another teacher at the studio. her key won't lock the front door.  So off I go at 8:45 to lock up.  Studio owner calls me upset because she knows I am making another trip down town, but it is a 5 minutes round trip drive for me and a 30 minute minimum for her.  So no brainer.  Then I went to Rite aid and picked up a few things.  I had a couple of coupons for a buy one get one free that were going to expire.  Then home to exercise and put mom to bed.

     So I did do something in fact I did more than something.  I must pay house payment today and send money back to Sis.

     Anyway I hope today will be as productive.


Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Wednesday,Get SOMETHING done addition

     I am having a hard  time getting things done.  I don't feel my kids are ready for the show this weekend and I don't really care.  I just want it over.  It is a young group but I just don't have the drive any more and I want this chapter of my life to be done.

     I need to go pay the house payment today,I mailed all the other bills yesterday.

I did a little second hand shopping yesterday and came up with three larger pots in which to transplant my growing house plants.  I am going to try and get that done today in addition to sewing like a mad woman.

     We are going to be cash poor for the next week if people don't pick up in the shop.

Mom is shaky and weak and I don't want to wait on her.  I am such a grouchy bit$% today.

I know it is the overcast cold nasty weather.  But I need to grow up and kick my butt.  Shame on me.I mean really?

Someone needs to come over here and slap me.  I am going to do something useful today.  I am going to accomplish something.  I am going to be productive.  I have an inner brat that is laughing right now.

Do any of you have an inner brat?

Have a great and productive day  (kim says)  Sit around and mope about weather (brat says)

Kim :)

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Tuesday, poor sleep, ugh..

     I could not get to sleep last night.  I was up most of the night and now I am dragging around.  I really dislike it when I get insomnia.  Now I have to go teach tonight and I can hardly stand the thought of it.  I am sure I will perk up before the day ends, right now?????

     Mom is developing a bad chest cold.  She coughed most of the night.  She did however do my laundry yesterday and also made 16 dozen Swedish meat balls.  That is enough for 8 meals.  I think she over did it, now you know where I get my drive.

     Hub's and I snuck out last night to get a few things. I needed a zipper to fix a costume for this weekend and also some purple satin to make two more Celtic belts for boys.  Bought a few groceries hopefully will not have to pick anything else up but milk.

     Yesterday I sewed on costumes most of the day, today I have to complete the belts if I don't collapse first.

     It is cold and rainy today and we are sick of this weather.  Blah!

     Last night I made Golden curry for dinner.  I don't cook many pre made foods but I do use sauce mixes for some things.  If the spices and making of a sauce are too complicated and would cost too much time and money for things I would seldom use I will rely on a sauce packet.

Golden curry can be purchased in the Chinese section of your store. It is pricey.  But every once in a while I find the mix on sale for 1/2 price then I take stock in a few.  It is a nice change.

Put 2 cups of rice in a rice cooker and start.  I use a mixture of brown, white and wild.  I keep this mix in the fridge in a large 2 gallons bag.  I get the wild rice free from an Aunt that lives on a reservation in Minnesota. She sends me 5 lbs a year, and I eek it out.

1lb of stew meat (purchased 1/2 off)
 Brown this in 2 tablespoons of olive oil
4 carrots peeled and cut into 1/2 inch rounds
4 potatoes peeled and cubed
2 large stacks of celery 1/2 inch slices
1 large onion cut into 1/2 inch chunks

Brown all of this veggies for a few minutes with meat and seal flavors
then add 3 cups of water and simmer for 10 minutes

Add curry mix and simmer 10 more minutes, sauce should thicken  test veggies if they are still too hard add 1/2 cup more water and let cook a little more.  This makes 4 large servings and is delicious.

Have a a great and productive day!


Monday, March 6, 2017

Monday, Saving Madness!

   We just got back from my cousin's birthday in Seattle and it was a fun quick trip.  My little sister drives like a bat out of hell and I was in the backseat getting throw all over in spite of my seat belt.  I am home and I am safe and I am still sick to my stomach.

     We celebrated mom and Williams birthday in Spokane and it was so cute.  He was 1 and she was 84 it was a sweet little family get together.

Things I did last week to save money:

1. Cooked all but one meal from scratch at home
2. Stocked up on cereal again with coupons paying $1.50 or less per box
3. played Albertsons stupid monopoly game and received 4 free cartons of yogurt
4. did a rite aid shop buying 78.12 worth of product for 21.67  I know not as good as Sluggy.
5. Bought a family pack of pork chops enough for 4 meals for $6.88.
6. Bought sewing supplies with coupons
7. purchased a few stocking stuffers at various stores for pennies.
8. refused to go out to dinner AGAIN Friday night while we were at daughters.  I knew we would have to pick up the tab so I asked her what she had at home.  She had shrimp in the freezer.  Great!  Had Sis run out for a loaf of french bread.
 Shrimp Alfredo from the pantry:

Start package of Alfredo noodles to boil
Daughters shrimp was already cooked and tail removed  ( I always by the uncooked as it has more flavor then cook it and remove skins)

1/2 cube butter melt in skillet
chop 1/2 a large onion fine add to melted butter
chop 1/2 whole clove of garlic fine add to butter ( 4-5 sleeves)

cook this until translucent

Add 2 heaping table spoons of flour then some  Salt and pepper to taste
add a can of chicken broth
add left over cream from fridge
add milk and stir to a soft boil into a thickened sauce
add shrimp and cook until  heated through ( if sauce is too thin toss shrimp in flour before adding to sauce)
add a dash of pepper flakes
add 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese right before serving

Toss a salad and butter some french bread

There a great meal for a .99 cent loaf of french bread.  Also plenty of left overs.

Things I did that were stupid with money:
Took mom out to dinner ordered a meal I could not eat that made me sick.  Okay it did make mom happy.

Will be altering costumes today for the Celtic show this weekend.  I also have several people that have appointments in the shop.  Hope to get a little yard work done. Need to pay some bills.

Have a great and productive day!


Friday, March 3, 2017

Friday, My pantry

     I had two wedding dresses go out today and a couple of people pick up.  I did some banking and had my nails done, some thing I hate to do, but as I have now scratched my face in four places and torn skin off it is a necessity.  I swear my skin gets thinner every day.  Anyway lil siss and I took mom out for dinner tonight and even though I just tasted everything the soup filled me up.  So hub's will be happy with leftovers.

     We will head out tomorrow about 10 in the morning.  I hope mom takes the trip okay.  It is a long time in a car for her.  I am still wiped out from the flu, just tire very easily.  Or I am just lazy, can't figure out which.

My pantry list:  This is all kept downstairs on shelves or in the garage on shelves

can coconut milk                                                      6 -1/2 gallons of cooking oil
large container of oats                                              3 quart cans of honey
5 cans of tomato paste,10 cans tom sauce                1 gallon of home canned honey
3-1/2 gallons of apple juice                                      16 1 lb boxes of various pastas
12 quarts of home canned tomatoes                         5 jars of mayo 
6 quarts of home canned peaches                             1 case of cranberry sauce
1 gallon of white vinegar                                           3 large bottles of ketchup
1 large bottle of corn syrup                                       3 1lb bag of barley
1 gallon of pancake syrup                                         2 cans of ready made frosting
2 large cans of fruit cocktail                                    10 assorted cake mixes

 4 cans of pumpkin                                     1/2 case pork n beans
 lemon curd                                                1 case of corn 
 lime curd                                                   1 case of green beans
2 large jars of peanut butter                        20 pints of various home made jams 
12 cans of chili                                           16 cans of beans, black, kidney, northern, garbanzo
2 cans of mandarin oranges                        12 cans of milk
6 cans of progresso soup                            6 gallons of canned wheat kernels     
2 bottles of olive oil                                    1 can chilies
6 cans of cream chicken soup                     3 bottles of mustard
6 cans cream mush soup                             2 cans diced tomatoes

10-5 lb bags of white sugar                    Different sizes of plastic bags
10 2 lb bags of powder sugar                 saran wrap, tin foil, wax paper, 2 boxes each 
8 2lb bags of brown sugar                      paper bags, many different light bulbs
10 packages of crisco sticks                  dish soap 4 bottles
5 - 10 lb bags of flour white                   2 boxes laundry pods  
3 10 lb bags of dried legumes                 several bottles of various cleaners
5 boxes of salt
6 boxes soda
2 boxes baking powder
12 bottles of various spices, and extracts

I have a freezer on both my refrigerators.  We have never owned a large freezer.

In the freezer up stairs:                                                  In freezer downstairs:

4 home made pie crusts                                                4 packages of pork chops
8 packages of chicken breasts                                      4-2 lb packages of lean ground beef
12 1 lb packages of lean burger                                    2- 1/2 gallons ice cream
3 packages of steak                                                     4 containers of cool whip
2 packages of ham                                                       1 beef roast
2 packages of home made frozen waffles                      6 beef steaks

2 bags of home made peach pie filling                           8-1 lb packages of butter
1 large bag of home pitted cherries                               several bags of frozen hand picked fruits for jam

1 large bags of picked blackberries
1 large bag of frozen sliced and dried onions
6 bags of frozen veggies
1 large bag of frozen black bananas
2 large bags of walnuts
1 large bag of pecans
2 large container of soup stock homemade
1 large container of bean soup
2 loaves of banana bread
10 bags of various choc,chips

Our kitchen cupboards are fully stocked with all of these items and when I run out of something I run downstairs and get another bottle, box or can.

We also store food in large containers in our garage, we have, oats, beans, wheat,peas, legumes,water,powder milk, eggs, cheese, spices.  Survival foods.  We buy oats in 50 lb bags.  I restock my legumes from large 25 lb containers.

We do not buy eggs when the chickens are laying.

When you newspaper comes out with the weekly grocery adds look at what is really on sale.  I mean like a deep discount.  when you see this and you use the item go and buy several.  As you go through the markets look for mark downs.

example:  Cereal was really marked down this last month, between Rite-aid and Albertsons, and Kellogs coupons stacked with manufacturer coupons I purchased 20 boxes of cereal.  Most were under a 1.50 a box.  So I stocked up.

example: look for meat that is marked with 50% off stickers and then take home and freeze.  Buy large bulk family packs and repack in smaller packages.

example: pasta was on sale for .69 a box I also had 1.00 off coupons on 4 packages dropping the price further. Making them .44 cents  so I bought 16 bags or boxes.

I really buy nothing unless it is on a large mark down.  I don't have to because I can wait until it goes on a loss leader.

Veggies almost always go on sale 3/1 in January, so far this year I have not seen this and I am waiting.

Baking supplies are stocked at Christmas or after Christmas.

My usual trip to the store involves, milk, bread, cheese, crackers, carrots, celery, fresh veggies on sale, lettuce, fresh fruit, pickles, soda (our one vice) and what ever I can find marked down.  That is it.

This pantry has filled many a college apartment.  I have also taken food to people in need.  I can set up a pantry for anyone I hear about that needs help.

More on paper goods and personal items next week.

Try setting up a staples pantry,  You will never regret it.

Have a great and productive day!


Thursday, March 2, 2017

Thursday, saving money on groceries

    I was really busy in the shop yesterday.  I hope this continues.  It has been so slow lately to the point that it is scary.  I know the weather had a great deal to do with this. I felt much better today but I took off at a fast clip across a large parking lot and almost went down from weakness.  So obviously I am still not up to snuff.  Mom's birthday is tomorrow so we are taking her out to dinner tonight.  On Friday which is her birthday and also our grandson Will's 1st birthday, we will drive to Spokane to celebrate with daughter and family.  Then Saturday morning we girls, will take off for the 6 hour drive to Seattle to surprise a cousin on her 60th birthday.  Hubs will drive home as he has to work at the school.  We had bean casserole for dinner along with salad and French bread.  The bread was free from Albertsons on their Monopoly game.

     There will be many pick ups today and I have bills to pay before I leave town.  Yuck.

     Don't forget to put in for the apron give away, (see previous post for details) 😀😀😄

 Long post:
   One of the easiest ways to control your flexible spending is through your grocery budget.  I have found over the years that one of the only ways I could reduce my outgo was my grocery budget. Sometimes our debt load would be higher than our income.  This happened  for many years.  There was virtually nothing left for groceries.  Of course we had to eat so I played the game of robbing Peter to pay Paul to squeak out a small amount of money.  I have learned to cook from scratch and keep a well stocked pantry of loss leaders and basic supplies to feed my family.

  When one does not know how to grocery shop for meals to cook you really can waste money.  I think to start out this process if you have no idea how to budget for groceries, you need to have a list of menus or meals your family will eat.

Breakfasts can be pretty basic.
cereals, oatmeal, eggs, toast, pancakes, waffles, muffins.  You can add protein with eggs, meats, peanut butter.  My kids ate a lot of
1.Whole grain toast with butter/jam, or peanut butter.
2.cold cereal purchased on sale.
3. oatmeal ( they loved this and so do I.)
4. waffles ( I would make a triple batch and freeze the extras on a cookie sheet and then bagged them.)
5. Home made muffins ( make a double batch and freeze)
6. pancakes ( I don't like reheated frozen chicken killers, I mean pancakes)
7. home made egg Mc muffins  butter and grill split English muffins, cook eggs in a round cutter, melt cheese on the muffin while it is grilling and slap together.  You can also add Canadian bacon or a sausage Pattie if you can find a good buy.
8.  breakfast burritos were made up and frozen to be heated in the microwave.
9. fruit

1. leftovers from dinner the night before. Learn how to bulk cook.
2. sandwiches
3. soups
4.salads, with boiled eggs and sliced cheese and lunch meat
5. nacho chips with cheese
6.cheese and crackers
7. cut up veggies
8. fruit

Dinners  Pick out 30 different meals your family likes and see that you have the ability in a pantry to cook these.
1. spaghetti                                           8. Taco Salad                               15. Hamburgers  
2. lasagna                                             9. BLT sandwiches                       16. Pasta with white sauce

3. stuffed shells                                     10. Club Sandwiches                    17. corn chowder
4. ground beef casserole                       11. Chicken and rice casserole      18. split pea soup
5. tacos                                                12. Bratwurst                                19. bean soup

6. chicken enchiladas                            13. pork chops/potatoes or rice     20. Casseroles with rice
7.beef enchiladas                                  14. homemade chicken strips         21. chili

22.stir fry                      Sides will include, potatoes, rice, noodles,veggies, salads, bread or rolls
23.chicken baked
24. meat loaf
25. meat balls
26.pork roast
27. potato soup
28. corn chowder
29. beef roast
30. Sheppard pie

I could make any of these right now without going to a store.  You will notice that there is no category for hot dogs or macaroni and cheese.

These are basic recipes.  By purchasing items to cook these meals when they are at marked down prices and using coupons you can eat well.

For instance, Pasta sauce can make 4 of the meals in this list.  Make up a large batch of Pasta sauce and freeze. You can buy pasta sauce on really good sales and add tomato sauce and spices to thin it our.  I keep canned sauce on hand for emergencies but prefer to make my own.

Pasta and rice can be purchased in bulk and on good sales.  I just stoked up on pasta for .69 a box.  Rice can be purchased at the dollar store.

canned veggies are not the best, but certain times of the year can be purchased for 3/$1

Ground beef, can be made into taco meat and frozen,  it can also be cooked with onions, for casseroles, enchiladas, chili.  Or make up a batch of meat loaves and freeze.  I have a meat ball recipe that makes 12 dozen meat balls. Learn to shop meat sales and check the mark down bins for 50% off meat.  I do this all the time.

Chicken breasts bought on sale can be pounded, sliced dredged in bread crumbs and fried,  Legs and thighs can often be bought for very little per lb.  A roast chicken can be served and the leftovers or carcass boiled down for soup. Whole chickens purchased on sale can be boiled down and shredded, for chicken salad, stir fries, and casseroles.

Beef roast, when purchased on sale or mark down make sure you sear it well to prevent shrinkage and then use left overs for french dip sandwiches, shredded for stir fry, or chopped for a vegetable soup or stew.

Pork chops, or pork roast,  I purchased a family pack of chops tonight marked down to .49 per pound that will make 3 meals for us.  Pork is cheap.  It can be shredded for stir fry.

Ham,  if you can get a good buy on one can feed a family for about 10 meals.  Cook, eat, slice, make scallop potatoes, bean or pea soups, ham and cheese sandwiches, breakfasts, sandwiches, fried rice.  Freeze in bagged portions.

Beans, the cheapest place to buy beans if not on sale is the dollar store.  .99 a bag, add an onion chopped, a carrot diced per person, a celery stock per person, home made or canned broth.  If you don't have any ham for flavor add bacon, or a ham bone purchased from the butcher.

Learn to make, corn bread, biscuits,and rolls.  Practice even your failures are edible.

Carrots, onions,potatoes, celery, garlic should be your main sources for cooking soups and stocks.  These are cheap but I still watch for sales.  One store has onions 4/1 and I stocked up.

Start a pantry.  Start small.  If you see tomato sauce on a good sale buy 4 extra cans.  Any time you have a little extra add to your pantry. A couple of cans, here and there, a cake mix or two, ketchup, mustard, mixes when they are 4/1.  Every store has mark down bins always check them.

Most communities have a mark down bread store,  use it.

Don't be afraid to glean food when you can.  Offer to pick fruit in season from trees you see that are not being picked.  Swallow your pride and knock on the door.  Most people are happy to get rid of the mess.

These are just some of the the things I have done to save money and eat well.

My meals were basic and filling.  No one complained.

 Learn to bake.  Cakes mixes are cheap.  They go on sale all the time.  Frosting is a couple of table spoons of butter or margarine, a little milk, and powder sugar.  Stock up on sugars at Christmas when there are sales.  If you want chocolate add coco powder,  Lemon add lemon juice and extract, strawberry crush berries in season, and squeeze out juices, add food color.   You can put together a cake in 10 minutes.  A bunt cake is nothing to make, does not have to be frosted and can be sliced with a glass of milk for an after school snack.

Make cookies and bars in bulk.   Freeze.  I just picked up 4 large packages of  M& M's, buy one get one free.  These will be saved for cookies. Sour cream makes great cookies, a gallon of molasses is a few dollars, learn to use it. Chocolate chips go on sale at Christmas, stock up and freeze. (Then stay out of them)
I made cookies at least once a week.  The neighbor kids loved me.

If times get really tough don't be afraid to hit up the food bank especially if you have children.  I always had the church to fall back on but would have accepted food from a bank.

These are just ideas that worked for me.  I still live by them.  Now I can and do cook more exotic meals but these ideas are tried and true.

Do you have any other things that you do to save money on groceries?

Have a great and productive day!