Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Still eating from the pantry

Which is starting to sink in with Hubby. I took the grocery money 2 weeks ago and bought perishables and non-food items. Last week he asked if we needed anything...bread and eggs was it.

Today he handed me the grocery ads that came in the mail and asked about going to the store tomorrow.

I took the ads straight to the trash can we put burnables and didn't even look at them. Told him I didn't need to see the sales and think I needed to get them. We would need dog food and dog dental styx for us and the rest of it would be for ingredients for cookies and microwave meals for deployed soldiers that we will be delivering to Operation Thank You first week of March.

I think it finally hit I meant it when I said we were going to eat the pantry down. We bought a Little Caesar's pizza a couple weeks ago and got Wendy's the other night. Both times it was because we weren't home and if I had cooked it would be late. My Crohn's has issues with me eating that close to bed time. We will probably go over to the Inn Between Tavern for fish on Friday. We don't go every week though we would love to, I love their fish and their fried chicken.

By eating from the pantry I have been able to pay off a couple bills. I still have 3 more to go plus what ever we owe on taxes this year. Second year in a row to owe, we usually have that set pretty close to break even and not owe but not get a refund either. I am not into loaning the gov't my money.

We are going to have to replace the microwave (right after Hubby gets a new travel mug so we can make sure it fits in the microwave) and both of us has lost weight and need clothes (most will come from the thrift shops).

Hope you have a good day...

Blessed be

Monday, February 25, 2013

Clutter clearing by Stephanie Roberts

I have been reading this ebook By Stephanie Roberts. Normally I am not thrilled with reading books on the computer but this is a definite extremely glad I did and will repeatedly do so again.

I do Flylady...if you are not familar with her then take a side trip over to and check her out...and I will include the only other reading resource that Stephanie offers in her book is Flylady.

So, here I am , two years in the same place, wasn't sure we would stay in this rental because even though it's close to work, it's over an hour to any of the kids and farther than that to the parents. I would have to say I hope the landlord doesn't ever want us to move or at least not until Hubby retires. We have both owned more than 2 homes, and thought we might want to own instead of rent.We decided against owning until he retires.

With Mother dying last November I have been going through some things my brother has cleared from Mother's and Dad's home. Brother stays with Dad in the home but the hoarding was too much for him to handle so it's been a slow process as Dad who has Alzheimer's doesn't want to let anything go.  It made me take a real good look around my house to see what our kids would have to deal with if we died today.

They are not going to be very happy after they pull the food from the pantry they want and split up the kitchen ware. Okay they might wait until they go through the linen and bedding. One daughter will be happy to have my clothes as we wear the same size and same classical style. But other than will not be good.

Clutter Clearing by Stephanie Roberts came to me at the right moment. I didn't know what I all had or where to start. I was over whelmed even with doing Flylady. It just seemed to grow more and more. I would think we got rid of something only to find it some where else. That was figured out when Hubby finally admitted he thought we should keep it and put it where he knew I wasn't going in to often.No we still haven't used it after 2 yrs, so it goes and he agrees to tell me up front he doesn't want to get rid of something not hide it).

I would say after he brought home another truck load from my parents and it sat here in the middle of the dining room until I could get through it (still am working on it but it's off to the side now). He realized what I was trying to our kids from this stress and frustration.

I asked him to decide a place to put yard sale items ( I need the cash more than I need the deduction since my normal job out of state is on hold due to daughter needing my car to get to work after being out of work for two years and of course her car died the second week, still trying to find something she can pay cash for).

Yard sales are a lot of work, I've supported myself and kids when I was a widow doing just that thing so at least I know what I am into and how to bring in the most money.

But where to start???? Stephanie helps you figure that out and if you follow what she writes you won't get over whelmed because you will understand the emotional ties.

So I need to get back to doing my homework assignment as my Hubby calls it.

Blessed be

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Lost in the land of Pinterest

I wandered to Pinterest on the 15th...I just wandered back out today.

I am not much of one to stay on Facebook or play the games on Facebook but Pinterest....oh yeah.

DIY, smiles,furniture, houses,pretties, clothes...I mean who can't love going clothing shopping without spending a dime?

But the know if someone started a diet and attached pictures that made the food look great  on Pinterest, it would go like crazy.

So mean time between bathroom and food breaks I did get some decluttering done in my kitchen.All the top cabinets have been cleaned,decluttered and new shelf liner put in. Ran out of shelf liner so I will finish that part of the project next week but I did finish cleaning and decluttering the bottom cabinets. Probably good since my body let me know I am not in prime condition for spring cleaning.

Got the bathroom cabinets done also, no shelf liner going in there.

I've been going through 1 box or 1 bag each day for Flylady.

I Feng Shui my desk which is actually a kitchen counter top that my hubby put legs on it for me. It'e eggplant purple and we got it in 1998 for $5 along with another counter top that is pale pinkish lavender that was $7. Best money we were spent.

We have been continuing to eat from the pantry mostly. We ate out the first Friday after Ash Wednesday at the local tavern that is well known for it's fried chicken and fried fish. I went to the store twice. Did a non-food run which was worse financially than the food run was that I did yesterday. Still came home with no buttermilk or raspberry syrup or yellow ink for the printer. Not going to rush back and get it though I might order the yellow ink on line if I find a better sale than the local price.

I haven't did anything with my gardening unless you count the pins I did on Pinterest.

I am fixing apple tuna sandwiches (Taste of Home)on oatmeal bread(Mary over at Owlhaven) and slicing bananas and Mandarin oranges and kiwi to look like palm trees in the sand (Pinterest pin) for dinner tonight. Hubby can take chili soup that is in the pantry that I canned for dinner tonight.

I am debating between 3 different types of sweets to make. Might end up with all 3.

Enjoy your day, stay safe and warm.

Blessed Be Juls

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day. I hope all of you have had a great day, one of love shown to you by everyone around you.

I don't focus on a sweetheart on Valentine's day (hubby appreciates that since he is about as romantic as a rock), I focus on making sure those I love know I love them, total strangers are told "Bless You".

I try to remember to send my loved ones flowers or pics of flowers on a regular bases. Like my deceased Mother would say, "if you don't give them to me when I am alive don't bother when I am dead."

My kids get a kick of me texting them pictures of things that will make them smile.

So as I wrap up my day of everyday chores and housework I just wanted to make sure each and everyone of you are loved and blessed...

Blessed be Juls

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Staying on the menu , cooking from the pantry

talking both myself and hubby out of going to the store. It's going to be a little hard as I am taking a wine class and have to have a certain wine for this next section and of course I don't have it in my "wine" pantry.

At least the wine section is in the front of the store so I won't have to go clear through it and see all that I don't need to buy.

Flylady ( is have a Lent "special" 40 boxes of decluttering for Easter. Since I've been a flybaby since 2001 I didn't bat an eye at that but did go count how many boxes we have that I should go through including the ones we just brought here from my deceased Mother's. Total was 444, all neatly stacked in 4 different areas so you don't really realize there is that many. Lots of them are small, the size of a shoe box but still 444????

Staying on the menu this week has been easy so far especially with me just starting to finally feel a little better, don't have much energy ...for me that is ... as I had a friend mention I do more in the morning than some people do in a day. Still we can only compare ourselves to ourselves. We are original and there is no copies. Unless you have been cloned.

I did the Home Blessing on the first floor which is the main living floor and did some of the laundry. I've been sorting through my Mother's table cloths and doilies and deciding what to give away and what to keep and washing the ones I want to keep a little at a time.

Making sure I don't hoard her hoarding.

Have a Blessed Day...

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Menu plan ...still on Pantry Challenge

We are still eating mostly from the pantry. Starting today and for the next 8 days we have talked ourselves out of eating out several times and I imagine the conversation with continue.

Today we are celebrating Chinese New Year. No we are not Chinese.
Everything is coming from the pantry. Pot stickers, Thai Basil Turkey lettuce wraps, Peking pork chops with Soba noodles, Traditional Mandarin fried rice, stir fry of cauliflower,broccoli,carrot, mushrooms and onion in a garlic ginger sauce, Mandarin oranges, crushed pineapple, miniature marshmallows in Greek Vanilla yogurt and of course fortune cookies.

Tomorrow is Clean Monday, the first day of Lent if you are Greek Orthodox ( No we are not again). Still I will do the home blessing ( and we will have Pasta e Fagioli, salad and oatmeal bread I baked on Friday.

Tuesday is Fat Tuesday/Mardi Gra/Shrove Tuesday. (Hubby sort of does Lent, I support him) I will be fixing Jambalaya in the slow cooker and Smoked sausage. I will BUY a King Cake.

Wednesday is the 1st of Lent. Tuna patties, mushroom and onion stew over mashed potatoes, salad. All from pantry

Thursday is Valentine's day, stuffed pasta shells, salad, garlic bread and Berries and Champagne cream. I will probably do an appetizer of brie cheese, apple slices on cinnamon bread or crackers.

Friday is Lent it's fish (this is definitely Hubby) So I will either do the fish fillet in the freezer or salmon patties (canned in the pantry), boiled potatoes with butter  and peas and an apple pie.

Saturday we will be celebrating our anniversary early since it falls during the week. I have steak and lobster tail in the freezer. Baked sweet potato and California blend(homemade  version) and a marble (yellow and chocolate)cake for dessert (cake in freezer).

Sunday will be red bean soup (leftovers to be used in red  beans and rice later in week), fried potatoes and corn bread

Monday our actually anniversary will be pork chops, hash browns, fried eggs, waffles with fruit topping,and oj. Guess I should figure out a couple of veggies to go with it, might end up being V8 fusion as I do have some of it in the pantry.

Blessed be

Friday, February 8, 2013

Baking day

For the past two weeks I have planned to have a baking day but never got the time or had the energy. This morning I got up and thought it was time.

I pulled all the recipes that I had made notes on that I wanted to do, then pulled all the ingredients and pans that was needed. Set up my stations, ingredients in the kitchen, cooling racks on dining table with the final product wrapped on a 6 ft card table in the front room.

I quit at dinner time with the last thing coming out of the oven was the pizza crusts for dinner. I did not get done but tomorrow is another day.I wrapped the evening with making sure all the dishes were washed and tomorrow's recipes together and the ingredients set so I can start right back in. By time I am done I shouldn't have to bake again for a couple months, unless we become little pigs and eat it all this month. Done that before also.

Today I made

2 loaves of oatmeal bread from scratch (freeze 1)

6 strawberry muffins from a mix (freeze 4)

6 apple cinnamon muffins from a mix with apples added to it (freeze 4)

6 triple berry muffins from a mix (freeze 4)

12 blueberry muffins from a mix (freeze 8)

2-8 inch rounds of yellow chocolate marble cake (1 to eat now, the other for the freezer)

cranberry orange scones from a mix (made 8 scones, freeze 6)

cream tea scones with apples added to the mix (made 8 scones, freeze 6)

oatmeal blackberry scones from scratch (made 8 scones, freeze 6)

2 pizza crusts from scratch for dinner.

Monday, February 4, 2013

February is a sad month for me

Even though Hubby and my anniversary this month, I still struggle to find joy during this month. Part of it is I have SAD, not good when you live in a state that has a low level of sunny days. Plus I lost my late husband during this month and I spent Valentine's day at the lawyer's office dealing with his negative estate. I do get excited about ordering the garden seeds and trying to start a few of the tomato plants myself (which usually bomb but I still try). 

So this time I decided to find something every day to make me smile.

Today I went to the grocery store. I love grocery shopping as much as I love cooking (good thing since I am a personal chef, I do not love cleaning up after myself or anyone else). Better I got several good buys. I spent 1/3rd of the month's grocery budget and figure we won't need anything other than milk, bread and eggs. Saved 25% of what I spent with matching coupons with sales and using my digital coupons loaded to my grocery rewards card. SCORE.

I bought 2 turkeys and a pork loin that was on sale, 90 % of what I did buy was veggies and fruits, most of it in season with a couple out of season for recipes we decided to try. I did buy 9 boxes of cereal which I don't normally buy cereal, but Hubby asked for some cereal and then asked me to make rice crispy treats but use Cheerios. His coworker brought some in and he liked them. I had coupons and matched the sales so I got all 9 boxes for less than a dollar a piece. I doubt if I will eat any of it for bfast but I will grab a bowl of cereal for a snack mid-afternoon.

I put veggies and fruit away in an organized way so what needs used first is in the front and what can wait until a week or so is in the back. Focusing on no more food in the back of the frig for science projects.

I decluttered the kitchen frig freezer and restocked it with bfast foods.In doing so, realized that we had more bread than I thought so I  don't plan to buy any more until we have this supply gone.

The frigs are organized that I can put together a simple lunch or snack for myself. I've always kept Hubby's lunch items together, apples and such in a drawer, his yogurt above it. Why in the world I thought I wasn't worth the same consideration, I have yet to figure out.

Flylady over at has announced that February's habit is 15 minutes of decluttering each day. So I spent 15 minutes decluttering my canning area in my basement and realized I have no foil in the back up storage. Figures that I would run completely out when I fixed dinner. Guess I will be going back to the store for foil.

I am continuing to eat from the pantry, trying to pull at least 1-2 canned goods each day from what was my Mother's pantry. Tonight I used the rice I fixed yesterday to make chicken and rice casserole. Used the chicken I prepped yesterday also and a can of mushroom soup from Mother's pantry. Grabbed a jar of jam from her pantry also to go with the biscuits I baked. Fresh broccoli (bought today) along with cottage cheese( bought today), applesauce and beets from my own pantry. I pulled a can of peaches from Mother's pantry and put them in the frig. Tomorrow for bfast I can have the peaches with the yogurt and granola I have.

What makes you smile?
Blessed Be Juls

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Feb 3rd GOD's Day of Rest

I am one of those that struggles with resting. I try to picture GOD on Saturday night. He looks and sees what he has done all week and what still needs to be done. He says "this is good" and takes a day of rest....key words ...good ... not perfect and not even great...simply good; the other word is rest.

What is rest? I don't think it's running to the stores to shop, playing catch up on the house cleaning and laundry, or slaving away in the kitchen all day.I don't think it's doing all the paperwork that has sat all week either.

So what is rest? According to Webster dictionary, part of the definition is the following:

Freedom from activity or labor.....Okay that is pretty well clear, couch here I come for napping...

Peace of mind or spirit....That's not always clear especially if you are sitting them free from the activity or labor and you see everything that still needs done...

This is when I ask myself  "is it good?"

I did spend some time in the kitchen today, I made a large pot of rice as I am making fried rice for dinner tonight( chicken stir fry, fried rice and pot stickers all from pantry) and a casserole with rice later this week. I had enough left for me to have rice, dried cranberries and warm milk or cream for a snack a couple times.Cook once use for at least 2 meals.

After I was done cleaning up after cooking it I thought I should have made it yesterday to  have freedom from activity or labor of the meal today.Some Amish that I grew up with do not cook on this day but serve cold foods or something simple such as soup or popcorn,apples and grape juice.

I remember my aunt always serving cold fried chicken, potato salad, cole slaw, applesauce and pickles or pickled beets.

I am going to try to start practicing that. Either something cold or something simple such as soup, crock pot meal, or a meal in the oven prepped the night before for Sundays and leave the dishes for Monday morning and treasure GOD's day of rest

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Groundhog's day

He might be forecasting an early spring here in Ohio but it's pretty nasty outside today.

I spent the day giving the 1st floor (it's the main living areas) a good cleaning. Haven't did much more than a kiss and promise since Christmas with Hubby and me both sick since then.

I fixed a steak and split it between us, neither of us eat as much as we used to before getting sick,might try to keep that as a habit...the eating less not the being sick.

Opened a can of potatoes and a can of corn from the canned goods that was Mother's. Sliced up some fresh mushrooms to go with it and called it dinner.

Thawed some chicken breast. There was several in the package and they were frozen together. I freeze my separately so I don't have to use the whole package but I don't turn food away. I prepped 3 meals out of it for this week.

Going to call it a night and do some pleasure reading.

Blessed be

Friday, February 1, 2013

The start of February

We are under a winter weather advisory for the next couple days. I checked the groceries out of habit. We had just decided 2 days ago we didn't need to go until Tuesday when we would be already in town.

We had sausage that I mixed in with canned potatoes, eggs and canned sausage gravy as a skillet meal. I served toast with it and added apples on the side for fruit. The canned goods came from Mother's pantry and the rest from our own.

Today we ate leftovers and canned fruit (again from Mother's pantry). Friday is our piece day if hubby doesn't work the weekend. Good day to use up leftovers.

I finished going through my Mother's stuff we had brought home, kept what I would use (which was less than what I wanted to keep) and divided out the rest between my 3 children.

Thoughts rolled around as I washed 6...yes 6 Tupperware containers for  veggie trays. She wasn't using them, they were buried where she could no longer get to them.  

So here's my's frugal to take care of what you have,but if you aren't using what you have you are no longer frugal but a spendthrift wasting your time (housekeeping and maintenance) and money (especially if you have to rent a storage unit). As I scrubbed the bottom of her pots and pans, I can remember her lectures of if you don't keep the bottoms of your pots and pans clean, it takes longer for the heat to reach the food and cook it so you are wasting energy. So true but somewhere along the line she stopped caring if she was wasting energy.Still these pans are over 55 yrs old and still in great shape so I will be using them. I already pulled my old ones to pass on to one of my kids.She has have that set already anyways.

Have a Blessed Day