Thursday, April 30, 2009

Totally slacking

This week has been super busy. Wait, it started gaining momentum LAST week and hasn't stopped.

Menus this week have been using what we have on hand. Tonight is especially good, so I thought I would post.

Baked chicken, steamed frozen green beans, homemade rice a roni, and cauliflower mashed potatoes YUM!

Last night was fried egg sandwiches.

Night before that was chocochip pancakes. It's time to make some more missouri mix.

Before that it was leftovers.

I cannot think before that.

Hopefully this weekend I will be able to get my coupons sorted, cut and a menu made and so some grocery shopping.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

the day after

The wedding was VERY nice. The bride was beautiful. The groom was handsome. The decorations, music, food, drinks, dancing, laughing, friends reconnecting... was wonderful! I saw people I had not seen in some time. I saw people I see every day cut loose and have some fun. I saw young and old coming together to celebrate and have fun.

Today I'm tired. I rolled up last night after midnight. Of course, I stayed to help pick up and clean up. I didn't want the bride's parents, my friends, to have to worry about all that. It was their daughter's wedding day.

And what a day it was!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Almost time.

Most of my friends are older than me. That's puts me about half-way between them and their kids. Their kids are really like my nieces and nephews. I am blessed to witness the wonderful relationships between mothers and daughters and sons. To see how important it is to have a good relationship. And to see the work it involves. It ain't easy. My friends are also able to comfort me as I go thru the same trials and tribulations they went thru with their own children. My support group is wonderful.

That said. My "niece" is getting married on Friday. She is a beautiful girl inside and out. She is strong and confident. She has a tender and forgiving heart. She is a worrywart and a mother hen to her own nieces and nephew. She is going to be a beautiful bride and a wonderful wife and mother. I hope I am able to give her the support system she needs as her married life takes twists and turns and ups and downs. May she also have the strong bond with her own children that she and her mother have.

Congratulations, Teeka! May this be the first of many wonderful memories of your life with your husband.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Paper day

Wednesday's are what I call paper day. It's the day I pay bills, file things, toss papers, sort papers. Anything dealing with paper gets done on Wednesdays. When I say toss, I mean to toss in recycling bin.

Paper can take over quickly. Here are some things that I try and do. I'm only human, but I give it my best shot.

Open mail at desk and make two piles - keep and toss. Toss the extra papers that comes with bills, like the return envelopes and all those extra sheets in there. And toss the junk mail. File the important things for Paper Day on Wednesday.

Every Wednesday make a pass thru the house and toss the old newspapers, ads, magazines, scrap papers, and receipts not needed. If you are like me, those stray papers that have now formed piles here and there. Sort and toss. File/put away the important stuff.

Sort thru the papers on the desk. Write the important things in my desk notebook or calendar and toss the rest.

Check over the calendar for upcoming things. Start making list of things needed - presents for showers/parties, special foods, etc.

Check grocery ads on line and match to coupons. Start making grocery list with coupons. I start now so I can use the coupons in my binder. On Sunday new coupons come out. I check the ads online again and go thru the new coupons. It's easier to set them aside before I file them in the binder.

Pay bills! If you get in the habit of paying your bills on the same day each week there is less chance you will miss them.

Best book I read about dealing with paper is Taming the Paper Tiger. Check out your local library for a copy.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Finally, FOOD!

I finally broke down and went to the grocery store on Saturday after not shopping in over 2+ weeks. It took Sarah and I over 2 hours, but we managed to restock the house and save some major cash using coupons! Kroger had some awesome sales. Gotta love it! Don't forget to to update your price book.

Total rounded off - 315.00

Using Kroger card 268.00

After coupons! 230.00 for 85.00 in savings!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Menu Monday

Monday - Chicken strips, white gravy, kids pick veggie

Tuesday - porkupine meatballs in a tomato gravy, mashed potatoes, kids pick veggie

Wednesday - Chicken enchiladas; salad/slaw

Thursday - Nacho casserole

Friday - Leftovers!

Things run so much better when I plan ahead. Mondays and Thursdays are busy days at work. I usually plan leftovers or quick meals. I ask for input from the family as to what they are hungry for. They tend to eat better if they have some say-so in the meal. Daniel ALWAYS asks for Heather's chicken enchiladas. I think he could eat them every day. I have some packs of ground meat that are rather large. I'll defrost one and make the meatballs, then cook the other portion to make the nacho casserole. Leftovers means clean out the fridge of whatever is left. Around here, I eat the leftovers the next day for lunch and the kids eat it after school as snack. They are starving, ya know!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Aww honey, honey.

There has been much talk in the news about honey bees disappearing. Bees are very important for pollination. There are a lot of farmers around where I live - rice, beans and sugar cane. In the "off season" they use their pastures for grazing cattle. You can see the white bee hives they set out for the bees to occupy. When the crops are planted, this ensure pollination.

Richard and I often run the dogs early in the morning down the country roads running between the pastures. You can see those white boxes in the fields for honey bees to make a comb. Lately, those boxes have been empty.

Seems the hurricane wiped out more than just the lives of people. It damaged crops too. It took a full year before things started blooming again. Slowly it has increased since the hurricane. I dunno if it will ever be like it was before. We planted a garden after the hurrice and nothing really grew. Flowers were not blooming. Nothing was being pollinated. The BEES were gone.

The other day Richard was running the dogs and saw this. It seems even the bees prefer country living by making their house on a fence post instead of the stark white "houses" people put out for them. I'll have do some research on bees and honey around here. It would be neat to see it up close - without the bees, of course.



Saturday, April 18, 2009

Bucket gardening

Have you planted anything yet? What did you plant? How is it doing?

No room? No time? Do what we did!

Here is my original post on bucket gardening. Check out the end of this post to see pictures one month apart.
My plants are doing better than I expected. Have lots of clusters of flowers - which will eventually turn into tomatoes and bell peppers. It's neat to have them close by on the porch so I can see them change day by day. No weeding! I have only had to water them once because the rain has done the rest of the watering.

If things keeping going this well, we'll do bucket gardening every year from now on. That will free up some room in the big garden for potatoes, carrots, corn, and peas.
Can you see the tee-tiny tomatoe starting? I know, the flash kinda blinds you, but that's as good as I could get. I'll try again once it gets bigger.


March 14 - bellpepper



April 15th - bell pepper is all the way to the right. The plant is so long now that it has curled up to reach for the sun and is under the bottom part of the bucket. I try to keep it on the outside of the bucket so it has room to grow.








Friday, April 17, 2009

The winner is!

And the winner is:

Melanie!

Please leave your mailing address in the comments so I can get these out to you. Your address will not be published.

Hope you enjoy!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Whooo, I won!

Blogging has opened up a whole new world for me. I now can connect to other people who have the same likes This includes COUPONS!

Cheap by choice had a give away and... I won!

I went thru the coupons and took the ones I wanted. I have a small stack left and want to pass those on to someone else. Diapers, gogurt, glade refills, glade starter, eggs, pledge, lady speed stick, scrubbing bubbles, skippy, mustard, country crock, crest coupons... There are still some good ones!

Leave a comment and I'll put the names in a hat and draw. I'll announce the winner in the morning - so check back and see if you won. I'd like to get these in the mail ASAP for others to enjoy. The deadline is midnight!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Today or BUST

It's April 15th folks! Get that check in the mail, pronto.

I normally do not wait this late to do taxes. I do not like that rushed feeling. I am also a perfectionist. Which means, if I cannot do it correctly I will not attempt it. That being said, hubby has to withhold his own taxes. HUH? I was totally in the dark. Thus the reason for being late.

Our tax lady is fabulous at explaining things. And now I feel very confident in what I'm doing. I have the vouchers printed. Tonight I'll predate the checks, address and stuff the envelopes, and mark the mail off dates on my calendar. I love being organized.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Lotion review

I haved used the lotion all weekend. I am sold! I think I'll be making my own from here on out. This is the first lotion that I can apply twice a day on my elbows - morning and night - and it take care of the problem. I have extremely dry elbows. EXTREMELY. This stuff took care of that after 2 applications.

The older I get the drier my skin seems to get. I slather myself up after the shower at night and the next morning my skin is soo soft. I also started applying it to my face at night. Now to concentrate on my cuticles.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Homemade Lotion

My mom called asking me to look on "The Internet" for a lotion recipe. Every recipe I found was not the one she was looking for - though I think she just forgot what was in her original recipe. Today she let me try hers. Hmm. It looked like it had separated, but wow it works. I read over and over again on the internet that everyone who made the lotion loved it. They all had dry skin. People, if you could SEE my elbows. Yikes. I have tried every lotion under the sun trying to find something not too greasy that will last, AND smell good. I noticed the main ingredient to all the lotion recipes was the vaseline and Jergens. Then you basically chose whatever type of lotions you wanted to add to it. The lotion made the vaseline spreadable by thinning it out. The vaseline helped make a barrier for your dry skin, keeping the moisture in. Hmm.

I stopped at the Dollar Store and picked up the items below. There were many different lotions. In place of the Vitamin E lotion you can use coco butter, baby lotion, shea butter. Just pick whatever lotion YOU like.





I then put them all in a bowl. I used my hand-held mixer to whip it all together. Then I put the new concoction in an empty cottage cheese container - cause I"m frugal like that! I also put some back in the Vitamin E jar so I could keep it in my bathroom to use after getting out of the shower. The bigger tub I'll keep in the living room near my chair for daily use. I couldn't get a good shot of the whipped lotion. The flash would white out the white lotion. I snapped the beater so you could kinda see the finished product. I'll run the dirty stuff through the dishwasher to make sure everything gets cleaned really well.


How does it work? Great! Now.. just to remember to use it daily! Let me know if you make some of your own and how you like it.


Friday, April 10, 2009

He'll be coming round the corner when he comes...

While Richard is away, I try and leave him texts and voice mail so that when he gets in range for a signal he will be "greeted". Yes, I'm sappy. It works. He loves it.

The boat that was expected to pick him up this morning run aground on shore and bent the propellors. Helicoptor to the rescue. 15 minutes versus 3 -4 hours! Who hooo. He said it was neat to see things from the sky.

He's on his way home and has to stop in Lafayette to drop some stuff off. I expect him home around 3. That gives me enough time to spend time at my moms and then come home and take a nap.

So far I have had a very productive day. Coffee at the neighbors, laundry, bathroom, dishes, boiled eggs, packed stuff for moms, swept, mopped.

Time to enjoy the day! Fried fish, french fries, macaroni salad, green salad and homemade cookies.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Full steam ahead

It just never seems to stop around here. My husbands job is 24/7 and in a matter of minutes his destination can change. I'm running on fumes. A full-time job and hauling the kids around is wearing me down.

I'll be glad for the break on Friday. Unfortunately, that means I have to work this weekend. Oh well.. it should be really slow!

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Stain Out




Have you ever heard of Stain Out? It's a grit cloth; like really stiff screen with some grit to it like sandpaper. I bought it at the grocery store near the mops and brooms. We have a lot of iron in our water. A LOT. Scale builds up quickly. Even though I do my Flylady Morning Routine of swish & swipe, that darn scale eventually starts creeping in. My toilet had lines where the water ran down into the bowl and the ring around the water line was getting darker and dark. Yuck. Then the scale starting attacking my bathroom sinks around the drain. Unsightly!
That was until I attacked it with Stain Out! Just a few minutes of light rubbing and all the scale was gone. Now the toilet nearly blinds you when you open the lid. It just makes me WANT to do the swish and swipe in the mornings. I know that scale will eventually return. But I'll be armed and ready.




Tuesday, April 07, 2009

These are a few of our favorite dips....

The first dip is my son's favorite. Thank's to Sheri, who taught me the secret to keeping to the cheese soft!

The next dip is a new dip I found on the internet. I have a sneaky feeling I will be making LOTS of it from now on. ALL the teens gave them both thumbs up. They said the bean dip was actually better than the store bought stuff. wow! What I love most about making things homemade, you can tweak them to your own taste.

VELVETA CHEESE DIP

1 small block of Velveta cheese
1 can of rotal (tomatoes and green chilis)
1 tube of breakfast sausage, cooked
Jalopenos (optional)

Cube velveta and put in a bowl. Pour Rotel on top and let sit. The acid starts to soften the cheese and keeps it from hardening up. Brown breakfast sausage and drain off grease. Add the cheese/rotal mixture to breakfast sausage. Optional - jalopenos. Medium to low heat until cheese is thoroughly melted. Stir often. Serve warm. You can keep it warm on a dip crockpot or just on low on the stove.

Copy Cat Fritoe Lay Dip

1 (15 ounce) can refried beans
5 slices bottled jalapenos (nacho slices)
1 tablespoon brine, from bottled jalapeno slices
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon onion powder
¼ teaspoon paprika
⅛ teaspoon garlic powder
⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper

1. Combine refried beans with the other ingredients in a food processor.
2. Puree ingredients on high speed until smooth.
3. Cover and chill for at least an hour before serving.

Bean dip around here costs 1.69 a can. I paid .57 for a can of refried beans. I had the other ingredients on hand - so pennies for those. Even if we up the total to .70 for the cost to make the homemade version, it's still .99 cents cheaper to make it.. AND the homemade recipe makes 3 times the amount!!

Store version 3 cans x 1.69 = 5.07

Homemade .70

Savings 4.37

Amazing!!

Monday, April 06, 2009

Menu Monday

Something along these lines:

Monday - Oven Toasted Sandwiches with the fixings - chips

Tuesday - Roast, rice & gravy, carrots

Wednesday - Homemade Pizza

Thursday - Leftovers!

Friday - Lunch at my parents - fried fish and chips.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Sunday catchup

My brother's family is leaving in the morning to go back to Georgia. The boys went to bed at.. ahh, 6am this morning? They had a good time, though.

Today I made my CVS, Walgreens and Kroger run. I don't want to be running to the store Friday night trying to find Easter stuff. I do need to swing by Walgreens again and pick up something for my sister's kids; just a lil something for when we get together on Good Friday.

I forgot to tally my final tickets in March, and they are long gone. Let's just say I went over the 500.00 mark. Not by too much, but still. 500.00!!?? Geeze. Of course, April is not starting out too well. I made a run to the store to pick up some snacks for the weekend since my house would be full of teens - 91.00 on junk! yikes! That's almost an entire week of food for us. I did manage to only spend 60.00+ today when I went shopping, so I guess it equals out. They gobbled up the goodies and had a great time -isn't that what it's all about?

The wind has been blowing all afternoon. I took advantage of it and pulled my Tahoe on the side of the house near the outlet. I vacuumed and then Bisselled my truck - minus the back (I'll have to climb in there and go through some stuff). It looks fantastic!

Off to rest some before the work week!

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Saturday - reconnecting

It was Monday. And then I blinked. Now it's Saturday. Yikes.

Last week was really hard. Rich was gone most of the week and all the kidlet running was left up to me. And it's a lot of running.

My brother's family came in from Georgia. He had to stay behind for work. But it's been a blast to have my niece and nephews here! I was also off this weekend. That's been EXTRA helpful.

The "girls" came here on Friday. The boys came to visit for a few hours, but Daniel had to be to work early on Saturday so they didn't stay late.

Today we all met at my moms. MMM. Food, family and laughter. The "kids" are all older now and it's nice to sit around and hang out with them. To TALK to them.

Now the boys are here for the night and I'm about to bring the girls back to mom's house. I gave mom a little rest.

Tomorrow I'll post the recipes for the dips I made. The kids loved them and gave them both thumbs up. I'll try to snap some photos too. I know I like being able to SEE things.

I'm sitting at the computer and the boys are playing video games.. it's really nice to see cousins connecting. Warms my heart. How I miss my brother and his family living so far away.