Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Baby, It's Cold!

As I type this post at 2:30 in the afternoon it is currently -0 and it feels like -20.  I had my doubts that we'd make it as high as 0.  We braved the cold for a little fun.  
Bubbles were blown to watch them freeze.
Hot water was thrown to view the dramatic evaporation,  Hands on learning is the best!
Then it was time to enjoy the hot chocolate bar as we headed back to school work. 
Now that school and our outside time is complete we are struggled under warm blankets. Chicken and noodles are simmering away and I'm thankful for our cozy home. We're making the best of this frigid weather.  

Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations... keep moving forward, friends. 

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Penny Smart #9

This a place where I share how I've stretched a penny, saved a penny and in many cases spent no pennies.

 Recycled Christmas cards into scrap paper.  I cut them to size to fit a note paper holder I've been refilling for years.  The only investment was time. 
 Picked up some clearance items.  The three small rolls on the left were $0.24 each and the larger rolls were $0.72.  All three rolls were $2.31 (included tax).  That was $0.57 less then the original cost of $2.88 for one of the larger rolls. 
 Mom also told me about a cart of school supplies that were on clearance.  I was able to get binders for $1.50 each. The original price was $4.28.  I'll take the savings of $2.78/each.  These will be put back to use in our school. 
 
Turkey carcass was pulled from the freezer and five quarts of stock were added to my pantry.  They won't last long as I used one over the weekend and another this week to make soup. 

Wealth gained hastily will dwindle, but whoever gathers little by little will increase it. Proverbs 13:11  

It's a great reminder to tackle our financial goals bit by bit. So there you go. I hope this encourages you to do things to save money. The old adage that every penny counts seems to apply more and more these days. I find it's much harder to stretch my pennies into nickles. *smile* I find it encouraging to hear about other frugal adventures and I hope you do also.

Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations... keep moving forward, friends. 

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Joy in the Ordinary

Look around, really look around and you will find joy... joy in the everyday... joy in the ordinary things.

Megan used bits and pieces from around the house to make a mini marshmallow roaster.  Next she is going to try and heat a can of soup.
Finally we have gotten snow!  Two weekends in a row.  It sounds like we might get some more this weekend. 
We had a credit card lurking that we didn't realize we had used.  It had a small balance that we paid off and then closed the account.  It felt good to cut it up and be done with it!
Every now and then I hear a sermon that really speaks to me.  That happened Sunday.  I keep stopping dinner prep to make notes.  I finally ran out of room on scrap paper and had to move to the school board.

On the 12th I celebrated my 48th birthday.  It was a lovely, slow day spent at home.
One of the gifts I received was a string of heart lights.  A perfect addition for a little spark on our lark evenings.
The cold weather means soup!  I don't eat tomato soup often, but when I do it hits the spot.



Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations... keep moving forward, friends. 

Monday, January 21, 2019

Let's Talk Spices

 We tend to have a mild pallet.  Most of the foods I make would mostly fall into the older farm genre.  Even though we like simple fare, I can't stand unseasoned, bland food.  I prefer homemade stock, yet it isn't always available.  I will use bouillon along with canned broth to add flavor. When I do make my own stock besides onion, carrot, and celery I also add garlic powder, parsley flakes, and bay leaf. 
You will often find me using bay leaf.  So much so that Megan calls it my secret ingredient. Ha!  I keep telling her that it's commonly used.  Do you follow Annabelle at http://thebluebirdsarenesting.blogspot.com?  She shows some the most beautiful, fresh bay leaf that she her mom grows.  It makes me wonder if it could grow in Indiana.  I might have to check out the conditions it needs to grow. 

Speaking of bland, unseasoned food, I know that is something that can be hard for a young cook.  It takes time to pick up the "season to taste" part of a recipe.  My advice to young cook is keep tasting and don't give up even if you don't first succeed.  Another thing I would say is don't discount plain ol' salt and pepper.  It's amazing what adding a little more salt can do for the taste of  dish. 
  Please share your favorite spice and how you use it.  I'm always open to learning a new trick or two in the kitchen. 

Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations... keep moving forward, friends. 


Thursday, January 10, 2019

Penny Smart #8: Leftover Makeover #2

This is a place where I share how I've stretched a penny, saved a penny and in many cases spent no pennies.

One of the ways to help meet our financial goals is to have a zero waste, or as close as I can, kitchen. This year you will see me talking about re-purposing leftovers, cooking from the pantry, and making things stretch. 

Sometimes there is no need to makeover the leftover.  I made a dinner buffet by heating up all of the leftovers from Christmas.  I sat everything on the counter and it was a pick and chose meal.
After the leftover buffet there were still leftovers.  I added hot dogs to the beans for a beanie weenie dinner and provided the leftover green beans and potatoes as a side.  Both Chuck and I ate beans and hot dogs from time to time as kids.  This meal was a throw back treat for Chuck.  
A choice of turkey or ham for a grilled sandwich lunch.  I used turkey and swiss on my sandwich.
The pot pie filling I didn't need was made into a lunch item.  It was topped with leftover stuffing and heated in the oven to make the stuffing a little crisp. 
I used the last of the macaroni and cheese along with some diced Christmas ham to make a ham and mac casserole.  Megan happened to pop in just after I had made this and asked what was for dinner.  

It was dinner time, but Chuck and the neighbor were out trying to get the van running.  A story for another day.  Anyway, Megan cracked me up when I asked her if she wanted it and she said, "are you trying to get rid of leftovers?"  Absolutely!  Pared with some leftover peas and her dinner was served. 
I have two sizes of ramekins that I use often.  It helps with portion control and makes an ordinary food item fun.  
By this time the leftovers had dwindled and frankly I was tired of remaking things.  The rest of Christmas dinner (ham, turkey and gravy)was packaged up and placed in the freezer.  In a month or so we will welcome the ham and turkey, but for now we are over them.  Oh, and don't worry they were tucked away long before this post. *wink*

Wealth gained hastily will dwindle, but whoever gathers little by little will increase it. Proverbs 13:11  

It's a great reminder to tackle our financial goals bit by bit. So there you go. I hope this encourages you to do things to save money. The old adage that every penny counts seems to apply more and more these days. I find it's much harder to stretch my pennies into nickles. *smile* I find it encouraging to hear about other frugal adventures and I hope you do also.


Wednesday, January 09, 2019

Joy in the Ordinary

Look around, really look around and you will find joy... joy in the everyday... joy in the ordinary things.


This week Chuck returned to work after an extended vacation.  It was a lovely time together with slooooow mornings. Now we are back to the grind.
 This week has started off with a very clean house.  Thanks to a mouse that Megan named Jerry.  *shutter*  That little thing was a pain to catch.  It would eat the peanut butter off of the traps.  One night it even set one off while snagging the peanut butter.  Chuck started to call it Houdini!  Thankfully it is now gone! 
My sidekick helped me clean every nook and cranny to get rid of any evidence of Jerry.  Yay for a clean house!

School is back in session.  
Daily routines are resuming. 
I've been busy stretching things in the kitchen.  The Thanksgiving turkey carcass came out of the freezer to be made into stock.  Hmm... it made my home smell wonderful!
We are working hard to reach goals.  It may not seem like much, but every little bit toward our goal is better than none. 

Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations... keep moving forward, friends. 


Monday, January 07, 2019

Fifty!

Yesterday, 50 years ago my parents said "I do." I've been thinking about their marriage and what it has taught me. I kept coming back to three things... love, forgiveness, and most importantly commitment. They are committed to honoring their vows, for better or worse, in sickness and health, for richer or poorer, to love and to cherish. My parents have modeled commitment to their vows and to one another through all their years together. In a world where many take the marriage vows lightly, I'm thankful for my parents example.

My niece and I hosted a simple luncheon in their honor yesterday.  
 
 
 
  
 My prayer is that God will continue to bless their union. Happy Anniversary, Mom and Dad! We love you!!


Friday, January 04, 2019

Mrs. Red

I have a new friend named, Mrs. Red. After seeing her from time to time and longing for a better relationship she came into my life this Christmas.
She is an enameled cast iron dutch oven. We are having fun getting to know each other. 
I can already tell this is the start to long and beautiful friendship.  I'm looking forward to all the adventures we will enjoy.

If you have a friend like this, please, tell me all about her. *smile*

Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations... keep moving forward, friends.