Thursday, March 28, 2013


Ate canned Chinese , eggrolls and potstickers and a packaged rice mix last night for dinner. I don't usually eat that much of packed food but we are still trying to use up what was Mother's pantry.

Tonight I have some leftover shredded chicken so I am going to make chicken enchiladas using the leftover homemade cream of mushroom soup as the sauce. Corn in the freezer, green chilis in the pantry and cheese out of the cheese drawer and tortilla wraps out of the frig. A tossed salad with avocado to go with it . All from the pantry.

I caught myself writing out a grocery list and checking coupons...backed myself up as I won't be going to the store until April 11th. When Hubby brought the local grocery store ads in from the mail, I tossed them directly in to the burn can.

I have put the list on the computer so when it is time to go to the store I have the list and decide if I really need that.I have found myself substituting just to use something up.

Hopefully the ground is going to warm up and I will be able to get some seeds planted so with in a month I will have salad food coming in so I can take that off the list.

Everyone have a good day.

Blessed Be

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Changing routines and being productive while down with Crohn's

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I have learned to find ways to be productive so I don't get as depressed because nothing is getting done.

I sorted through the jewelry from my mother's estate and dealt with that so it's off the to do list.

I sorted through a couple boxes every day (Hubby was okay with bringing 2 from upstairs).

I read "Cut Your Grocery Bill in Half" by Steve and Annette Economides ( aka America's Cheapest Family) Which lead me to starting to inventory the pantry,freezers and frigs....still working on that .

I decided to post what I do each week on the back of the front door (it's right beside my desk so I see the back of it most the time) of what I did to be frugal. This week's frugal choices was to go through the check book and see where there were "leaks". I stopped some automatic pays that we no longer use saving $30.00 a month. We found spray paint on sale (patio furniture need painted) and with a rebate.

We ate every night except Friday from the pantry. Friday we went over to the Inn Between Tavern and got the all you can eat fish special.

I made laundry fabric softener and laundry stain remover.

I joined the Money Saving Family (AKA America's Cheapest family). Yes that was spending some money but by using one of their grocery tips I can have that money back in one month.

I read "Brother,Can You spare a Dime" by Tony Sakkis. It's about feeding yourself on $5 a week. Ramen noodles yes, but a lot of variety that makes it no different than serving spaghetti once a week or substituting pasta instead of the Ramen noodles. I eat Ramen noodles without the seasoning package and broth with butter and powdered garlic when I am sick...of course I also eat a sausage patty with horseradish cream sauce and Swiss cheese on a thin bagel when I am sick. My doc thinks I must be really sick especially when I mention craving Chinese food and Taco Bell.

I read "Once a Month Cooking" by Mimi Wilson and Mary Beth Lagerborg. I used to do this when Hubby and I first got together and combined our family. It was a mind and time saver when 5 of the kids was in sports and Hubby was also playing ball, coaching and umpiring.

I read Michelle Obama's book "American Grown" Made lots of notes and plans for the house and the gardens for when I got well and back on my feet.

Now I just have to pace myself so I don't trigger anything which comes to today's job of reworking my routines. On my bulletin board (actually a lime green foam board cut in half and doubled) I have posted the old work schedule for housewives. Monday wash day, etc.

I have also used Flylady's schedule. Neither are working for me at this time. I made some notes on what I saw wasn't getting down and what I needed more or less time for the past month. So today I am going to sit down and rework my routine and try it for a month. Since that's also adding in the gardens ( over 1,000 sq ft when you put in the gardens around the house foundations) and yard work.

I hope everyone has a good day.

Blessed Be Juls

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Another snow

Yep, here we go again... looks just like the other weekend but not as much drifting.So tired of the drastic changes.

Still eating from the pantry.Caught myself looking at going to the grocery store after deciding we would only go once a month. I just put that list beside the computer and decided I could add to it, most likely  I will start the garden by then and won't need as much or what I listed to begin with.Besides saving money, eating from the pantry lowers it so I have room to put the garden up when the harvest comes in.

I did get one of the square foot gardens covered with plastic to start warming the soil. It can be 32 outside but if there is sun the plastic can heat the soil to 60 or more. I can plant cool weather crops in that temp and put a hoop house over that square.

I made a plan of what to plant in that first square foot garden. Plan on Anna snow peas, Philadelphia white box radishes,scallions, red summer crisp Cherokee lettuce, Baby leaf lettuce mix,Cimmaron Romaine, Rouge d'Hiver Romaine, Cabbage,cauliflower,broccoli,beets, peppermint Swiss Chard, salad fresh spinach, Yaya carrots and Quickstar kohlrabi.A 4 by 4 ft square will grow all of that for the spring season.

I've been reading "American Grown" by Michelle Obama. Good book to read even if you are not into gardening, I love the layout of the White House kitchen garden and the fact they try to grow food all 4 seasons.

I already told Hubby he is going to have to figure out how to keep the hot house standing through the winter so I can have my salads because it's up to over $15 a month at Aldi's.

Going back to play in the seeds and decide what I can start growing inside.

Have a great day

Blessed be

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

nasty weather nasty health but got groceries

 Snow, sleet , freezing rain with a few days of warm and sunny teases in between. Yep, Ohio in the Spring.

Top it with an acute flair up on my Crohn's which now I am on meds for. Low dosage and 2 out of the 3 are just as needed.

Since I was stuck in side and down with Crohn's I decided to figure out if we could cut the grocery bill. It had did a crawl up to twice the amount budgeted. I first thought, high prices of everything, too much impulse buys and I need to eat healthier.(Sorry doc not going Vegan, I am a cheese hound). Did some research on the internet, pulled some things I did when I was a widow raising 3 and feed half the county with their friends and raided the library on a "I can barely stand but I need out of this house"cabin fever day.

Then I went to the store and got enough groceries for the month (and collapsed the next day but it was done).When the kids were little I did that, when Hubby and I got married I did that, I even did that for a few years after the kids all left home because my youngest did and I went to the store with her.

The picture are $327 of groceries (which leaves $23 for milk/bread etc for the rest of the month). That actually puts us almost half of the original budget amount.The only thing not showing is the 12 rolls of toilet paper. The packaged food to the left of the chair is 22 shelf stable microwave meals for Operation Thank You to send to deployed troops that had their chow halls shut down. I spent $27 and saved $32 on them and yes, they came out of the food budget.

The stick of deli pepperoni will last about 3 months. The ham is for Easter so it will help through next month.I have a meat slicer so I do my own slicing. I plan to get a meat grinder for my Kitchen Aid mixer and start grinding my own beef.

Everything was put prepped and put away with in an hour.Which surprised Hubby but I have a system and I keep my foods in the same place (or do until he moves them) in the frig.

The next day after dreams of not running to the store every week and having a good solid base for many meals...I woke up to my Crohn's. So for the past 10 days I've been telling Hubby what there is for him to eat that he doesn't really have to cook, just reheat or I reheated it for him if possible. He didn't have to buy anything out or go to the store and that made him happy.By the beginning of last weekend I was no longer able to eat, by Sunday I was no longer able to hold fluids down. Monday morning Doc with much regret gave me my first meds for Crohn's. Now I am home trying to replace fluids and get my energy back.I am not in full remission but things are down to a low roar, which is not what I can say for the wind I have been listening to for the last 3 days.

I have a mountain of things on my to do list but they will have to sit and wait until I have fully recovered. Already learned the lesson of not resting when I should.

Blessed Be Juls

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Snow day on the farm. The first picture is where the pup bulldozed through so our older dog could go through to potty. So sweet for him to do that for her, surprising but sweet.

The second one is the drive way. You might not be able to see the drift very clearly but it closed the driveway completely. To the point that Hubby had to park in the yard  when he came in from work this morning and walk to the house.Not far just but then he had to make a couple phone calls to arrange for the driveway and the garage to be plowed out. We got 9 1/2 inches of snow and I think about 3 inches of it has already melted. It's suppose to be gone by Friday.

I updated my to do list today and it has doubled since we are getting ready to get in to gardening. I have plastic that I can make hoop hot houses over the square foot gardens and do some early spring planting in a couple weeks after covering the gardens this weekend.

We ate from the pantry tonight. Pork chops,baked potatoes, canned corn (Mother's pantry, and we will be glad when that's gone because we don't like canned corn) and French green beans (Mother's pantry) mixed with canned sliced mushrooms and cream cheese melted in it.

I had Mother on the mind a lot today because I finished going through her jewelry to get it appraised so we can sell it to help pay of her negative estate. Everyone thought her jewelry was "worthless costume" a good half of it was either real or vintage costume jewelry. You just have to take the time and look for maker's marks. Thankfully the local jewelry not only told me what to work for but lent me a jewelry's eye glass to help me see it better.Probably best for her too since she won't have to toss out what is going into the yard sale this spring since I already did that.Now it will be appraised and then I can sell it.

I haven't decluttered much the last couple days unless you count tossing junk jewelry and clearing out some folders on the computer. I plan to get back into that tomorrow.

Guess I will go get a hot drink and go surf pinterest. 

Stay safe and stay warm ( or cool if you are some where hot).

Blessed Be

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

In a week

Sorry it has been awhile since I've been on. I feel like I've been running full force and getting nothing done.

But I actually have gotten several things done and off the to do list which is why I have collapsed after dinner and went straight to sleep pretty much every night.

We have been eating from the pantry except for Friday when Hubby went and got fish dinners at The Inn Between Tavern. Haven't stayed on the menu but still ate from the pantry...that is what counts. I cleaned out the refrigerators last night before Hubby took the trash to the road for pick up this morning...the only thing that got pitched was 1/2 cup of diced tomatoes and some citrus fruit that the pup (who is now 1 yr old) thought was balls and then did a good job of chewing them up thankfully on the kitchen floor and not the carpet. Seems he likes lemons the best. Who would figure?

I sorted through more of my Mother's jewelry and am looking at having that done this week.

I have been clutter clearing using Stephanie Roberts Book of Clearing Clutter based on Feng Shui.I can do the 27 fling toss from Flylady but when it came to certain things I held on and on and understand. Stephanie really helped me deal with the emotional side of the decluttering and understanding that the feeling poorly is connected and I had to face that first. In doing so I have been able to put things in a box that Hubby stashes for the yard sale that I will be having in the spring. Since he is taking it out he know exactly where it is going. Though he has made several comments about the amount of burn trash and other trash going out the door with it.But after dealing with my parents hoarding he definitely is on the side of dealing with it now. We also agreed that after the yard sale EVERYTHING that didn't sell will go straight to the thrift shop.No putting it back and doing another.

I ordered the last of the seeds for the garden. Since we have been eating from the pantry I have been able to save enough to do that along with pay off a couple bills. I have 3 more bills to pay off and hope to be able to get that done in the next 2 months by eating from the pantry.

I started baking cookies for Operation Thank You to send to our deployed troops in our area. We were going to make the delivery tomorrow but they are being held in the freezer now since we have 6-8 inches of snow and sleet coming in tonight. So I can bake more cookies to send.I bake from scratch so it's not costing us a small fortune as if could be if I bought premade dough.

Have a good day
Blessed Be Juls