Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Are You Ready?


           Are you ready for the SH$# to hit the fan? Whether it be a terrorist plot, zombie invasion, or Mother Nature wreaking havoc on us, you need to be ready to provide and protect your family.
         Do you have enough water for your family?  The bare minimum for survival is one gallon drinking water per family member per day.  This doesn’t include washing dishes, bathing, or flushing!  We need lots of water people, lots of water.  An easy way of storing water is to use the 2 liter soda bottles.  Just clean them out and rinse with a bleach solution (1t to a gallon water) then fill and store.  While these may not contain the best tasting water after a time, the water will be good enough to bathe with, flush with, or heat to do dishes.  You can store the water in many places even if you have a very small home—under the bed, under the couch, etc.  I personally like the 5 gallon camping water containers that are available in the sporting goods department of many stores.

           Do you have spare cash in the house for emergency needs?  ATMs are not able to spit out cash in a power outage so you need to keep money squirreled away for the rainy day!  If you cannot put back a large amount , start small. Save your change or put back at least a dollar per week. Something is better than nothing!

         Do you have easy to prepare food in the house?  In an emergency, you may not have the provisions to fully cook raw meat, dried beans or rice.  It would use a lot of propane or wood to properly cook these items.  I know most people want to get away from processed foods, but in an emergency situation, those cans of stew or ravioli are gonna be mighty tastey! If you really do not want the store bought  canned stuff, then home can some high protein foods that are just heat and eat. I can vegetable soup, beef stew, chicken, and beef; all of which could be eaten straight from the jar or just heated quickly.   Canned fruit or fruit juice is a blessing as well—store bought or home canned.  Dried or evaporated milk is also a good thing to store.  Remember if you buy the store canned goods to have a hand operated can opener on hand as well!  Cooking oil or shortening are great to have on hand as well!

        How will you heat your food?  Small propane tanks are cheap, easy to store and use.  You can buy a small burner attachment very inexpensively for those.  Stock up your grill propane tanks.  We have 3 and try to always have 2 filled spares on hand.  No propane grill, then stock up on charcoal, lighter fluid, and matches, and matches.  Did I say matches?  You will never have too many!  I would store my charcoal in plastic garbage bags to keep the moisture out.  Also, you could stock up on those Sterno cans to heat small amounts of food.
         How will you provide light for your family?  Emergency candles are cheap and easy to store.  Oil lamps can provide a lot of light in a room and also several will heat a small room if it is sealed off. You can find new oil lamps at many department stores and don’t forget to stock up on lamp oil, extra wicks, and oh yes, matches!  I am lucky enough to have several antique oil lamps filled and ready for emergencies!  I decorate with them but they really are so very practical!  A hand powered flashlight is an awesome tool to keep on hand.  No batteries to replace and you can find nifty ones on amazon that have emergency radios in them as well as cell phone chargers.  What a great item to have in your preparedness arsenal!
        Battery flashlights are a good thing to have on hand as long as you have batteries stored for it also.  Remember, batteries will last longer if stored in a freeze inside plastic jars or containers.

        Solar bulbs are an option.  They can be charged all day in the sun then brought indoors to provide some light.  I must say though, I bought a cheaper one and it isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.  I would have better spent my money on cheap garden solar lights—you could just bring them indoors at night!
        Some miscellaneous supplies that would be useful in an emergency would be plastic tarps, duct tape, plastic trash bags, paper plates and plastic eating utensils, and the biggie------TP.   Yep,  good old toilet paper.  Can you just imagine running out of this gold paper (as my Boy Scouts used to call it)?  EWE, GROSS!  What would it hurt to stash an extra couple of pkgs. of TP under the bed for emergency use?

       You need some boredom busters!  What will you do with no TV, cable, or computers?  Heaven  forbid the kids or hubby get bored!  Stock up on board games and cards.  You will never regret this—trust me!

        These are just basics in preparedness but will go a long way to make an emergency situation more tolerable.

Please share your preparedness tips in the comments—we can never be too prepared!

Safe Blessings,










Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Quote of the Week

Your smile will give you a positive countenance that will make people feel comfortable around you.
                                                                         -Les Brown

Smiles and Blessings to you all,

Monday, August 26, 2013

My Frugal Accomplishments Last Week

      Last week I packed my lunch every day for work and used my water bottle--no drinks or snacks were bought!
    I found beef stew meat on markdown and bought it--canned 7 quarts of Beef stew! I figured my cost per quart to be about $2 -much cheaper than the store canned junk!
     Worked on another doll blankie for my niece for Project Homemade Christmas.  It is about half way completed. Hope to have it finished this week!
      Primly painted a child's chair and stool that were given to me by my Mother-in-law.  I used a small bottle of acrylic paint that I picked up at Wally World for 67 cents. They look great in my living room now!
      I was given a mess of green beans and several tomatoes--Thanks Uncle Howard!! I appreciate your generosity! 
      I found several packages of Lil Smokeys smoked sausages marked down 50%.  We like these at Christmas with BBQ sauce in the mini crockpot. They are calmly awaiting Christmas Eve in my freezer!
      I bought 20 packages of Kool-Aid and got a free 5 lb. bag of sugar at Meijer last week. Saving the sugar for cookies at Christmas.
      I wasn't able to get my jam and jelly made this week--maybe next week it will get done.

    What were you able to save money on last week? Please share in the comments section!
Frugal Blessings,


Thursday, August 22, 2013

Operation Homemade Christmas


         Earlier this year, I posted --that I wanted to have a “simple, homemade Christmas”.   In order to save money, simplify our holiday, and remember the true meaning of Christmas, I wanted to make most, if not all of our Christmas gifts.  I got off to a pretty good start-crocheted several doll blankies for my granddaughter and nieces, and crocheted a dish cloth for my cousin.  Then I had an emergency appendectomy and my plans went right out of the window!  I had complications and had a very rough time of it for quite a while and didn’t accomplish anything.  Nothing got done for my Project Homemade Christmas for months—zip, zilch, nada.  Therefore I am so very far behind on my gift making.  

      My jellies and jams are usually made by now so I think I will have to start to working on those first.  I make strawberry jam, grape jelly, apple jelly, zuchinni  jam and if I have time—apple butter to put in goody baskets for my friends and family.  I just love putting together homemade goodness to share with those who mean the most to me!  Gifts from the heart are the best aren’t they?

      I did order small wooden discs from Factory Direct Crafts to make snowball picture ornaments with.  I plan on painting them white, using a punch to punch a perfect round circle out of a pic, then Modge Podging onto wooden disc.  Then I plan on gluing Mica flakes to edges to look like snow. I think those will be my second project.    I have been taking pictures of loved ones all year with the intention of making these precious little ornies.   Many of my favorite ornaments on my tree have pictures of my family in/on them. 

Our newest family member Peyton will go on the tree this year!
   Framed pictures are a favorite gift to give as well.  I have been taking photos all year with this in mind also.  My children receive pics of mom and dad(or the Grandparents) most years!  If they are not appreciated so much now, one day they will realize the true value and hopefully will be thankful they have these photo mementos of us.  Appreciation increases with age doesn’t it?
Me and my Hubby!
My aunt and cousins!

    With these projects in mind, I hope to get caught up on my Project Homemade Christmas!

Have you started your Christmas crafting yet? Please share your progress in the comments section.

More Project Homemade Christmas to come! And I will be posting pics as I work on all of my projects.

Simple Handcrafted Blessings to you all,



Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Quote of the Week

When you focus on being a blessing, God makes sure that you are always blessed in abundance.

                                                                    --Joel Olsteen

I firmly believe that this is so true! What have you done to bless someone today?

Abundant Blessings,


Monday, August 19, 2013

Soft Drink Savings

         My hubby is a big soda drinker.  He loves soda, or pop, or whatever you want to call a soft drink! But the soda is getting pretty expensive and buying it is detrimental to our budget.  Did I mention he LOVES his Diet Coke?  I hate that he is getting so much of the fake sweetener and I want to try and wean him from drinking so much of what is not good for him.  If we can cut down on the soda by just one case a week, that would be a savings of $27.92 a month or $335.04 for the year.  If we could go without altogether, it would save us $54.84 a month or$670.08 for the year.  I don’t know about you, but I think this is a huge chunk of change and a big portion of our grocery budget!  Just think of the bulk food items  I could buy with an extra $670.00!  My stash would be huge!!

I plan on going over the above numbers with him and trying to get him on board but who knows!

So I brain stormed and came up with the idea of keeping tea made and in the refrigerator. He Likes iced tea,   so I purchased an inexpensive drink dispenser(2.5 gallon size) and cleaned off the top shelf in my refrigerator.  I figured that if I have a cheap beverage made, cold, and on hand, maybe I could start buying less soda.  I live in hopes that this will help him ease off of the soda so much, but only time will tell.  Meanwhile,   I am loving our Tea dispenser in the fridge—Iced Tea is my favorite drink and so cheap compared to soda!

Are you trying to cut back on soda in your family?  If so how is it going for you?



Friday, August 16, 2013

Herbal Recipe-Bouquet Garni

Bouquet Garni is French for garnished bouquet. A bouquet garni is a small pouch of herbs and/or spices tied up in a piece of muslin and simmered in soups, broths, or stews. It is removed before serving. You can use dried herbs or fresh herbs—whatever you have on hand. Some recipes call for peppercorns to be added but you can use the herbs you like best. I like to make up several at the same time and store them in a mason jar. 

1/4 cup Parsley     
3 Bay leaves
2 Tbls Thyme
2 Tbls Marjoram
2 Tbls Lovage

Mix together well and tie 1 Tablespoon of dried herbs in a small muslin bag. If using fresh, chop and use however much you want. Now this isn’t an exact science so get creative and see what combinations your family likes. This is wonderful simmering in a beef or chicken stock.

What would you use the boquet garni for at your homestead?

Herbal Blessings,



Thursday, August 15, 2013

7 Super Foods for your Health

Everyone wants the best nutrition possible for their family.  
After searching for nutritious food for my family, I found a list of 7 Super Foods!

Here is the list of super foods that I am trying to incorporate more of into my family’s meals:

·         Salmon or Tuna                                                                                                               
·         Yogurt –Homemade
·         Nuts
·         Dark green leafy vegetables
·         Beans
·         Oats
·         Blueberries 

I am really glad to see that beans and oats are on the list.  Both can be bought in bulk and are very reasonably priced.  Healthy and cheap—that’s a win- win for sure!

Homemade yogurt is another great item on the list.  All of the flora and fauna in yogurt are so very good for you!

I have been incorporating more nuts and oats into our diet via my homemade granola.  Yummy!

We have spinach salad every week or so and I have purchased dried spinach from San Francisco Herb and use it in lots of meals like spaghetti sauce, and soups, etc.

We eat lots of tuna in the summer in sandwiches and I make tuna croquets in the fall and winter so we get our fishy nutrition.  We are not big seafood eaters so this is how I get fish into our diet.
Blueberries are great in muffins and very easy to freeze --post on this coming soon.

  So Getting these super foods into your family’s diet isn’t very difficult and it is not very expensive either. Do you try to  incorporate these frugal super foods in your diet?

Nutritious blessings,




Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Decorating with your collection

Look at what I found at a flea market! A Christmas cookie mold. 

It is just beautiful and was only $1. That’s right just one dollar!  Score!  I collect these and they hang on my dining room walls.  I love decorating with pieces of my collections-cookie molds, skillets, etc.
One of the walls in my kitchen is decorated with my collection of small cast iron skillets.  I love them!

I also collect baskets and here is a pic of a few of them.
I have many, many more but these are hanging in my dining room.  What collections do you decorate with?


Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Look What Came for Me Today!

Look at what came in the mail for me today!

 My buckets and gamma lids!!! 
I can now store my 25lb. bag of flour in there!! 
 Next on my list to buy in bulk is oatmeal! What do you buy in bulk? 
Bulk Blessings to you all.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Weekend Getaway

       Hubby and I got to take an overnighter this past weekend.  We went to Blue Lick Battlefield State Resort Park.  This is a quiet little park with a very nice Lodge, Cottages, and Camping.  I do not camp anymore so we stayed in the Lodge.  We had a King Suite and let me tell you for the price it was very nice.  We had our own private (or maybe not so private)porch and  patio, kitchenette, and sitting area.   We were on the ground level and on Saturday afternoon,we had a Peeping Tom peeping in at Tom from the patio window!  He was not amused at the 8 year old and parents on our patio.  I thought it was funny and kids will be kids!
   It really was nice to get away, even if it was just for one night!  Here are some pics of our trip:

And they said it wouldn't last!  Soon to be 30 years together!
I hope you all get a chance to get away--It is good for the soul!

Friday, August 9, 2013

Bye-bye Coupons, Hello Sam’s Club

Coupons in my area are getting harder and harder to use—stores are no longer doubling them so I need to explore more ways to save money in my food budget.

I am not brokenhearted about the coupon issues because most of the coupons are for overly processed foods and I would like to get away from those. Bulk buying is my plan.  I didn’t have a Sam’s card before, and azure standard isn’t an option so my options on bulk buying were limited until my DS#1 asked me if I would like a Sam’s Club Membership.  He works at Wally world and they will payroll deduct the membership fee. Yippee!  I cannot wait to buy in bulk.

Now, you may be thinking about storage.  I know I was so I went online to USA
Emergency Supply and ordered my buckets with the reseable gamma lids.  I want to start out slowly—cannot afford to go whole hog at the moment buying many buckets and lids-so I just bought 2 of each.  I am thinking one for bread flour(since I am wanting to bake all of our bread) and one for oatmeal.   If using these goes well, I will try to get 2 more next month--One for pinto beans and one for sugar.

   Here is the link to the site where I ordered mine:

I am not affiliated with this company—just where I found my lids and buckets.

I hesitated to buy the mylar bags and the oxygen absorbers because I am not ready to try long term food storage just yet.  Can anyone weigh in on how long oats and flour would last in the buckets with only the lids and not the bags and oxygen absorbers? I have a family of 5 adults in my house and I think I will able to use the bulk food up before it would spoil.   Any help would be appreciated!

Bulk Blessing to you all,






Thursday, August 8, 2013

Our Newest Family Member

Hello all,
     Just wanted to share  a few pics of our newest family member!                                                          
                                                                       Meet Peyton!
Isn't he sweet?  He is a little stinker let me tell you!
Peyton is very smart--he  is  starting to bark when my husband seizes.  I had hopes that he would pick up on the seizures and alert us and it looks promising! Sometimes when Tom has a seizure he will just stop and be still and stay that way for several minutes. We heard Peyton barking in the kitchen one day and sure enough. when I went to find out why he was barking, I found Tom seizing.
 I hope he continues to be aware of the seizures and will help alert us to them.   Peyton is a blessing to our family--especially to my Hubby!
Furry Blessings,

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Homemade Granola

We love granola at our house so I started looking for an easy granola recipe.  I found several that I liked but tweeked them to my taste.  Here is what I came up with:

3 cups old fashioned oats
1 cup nuts(your choice but we are partial to walnuts)
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup honey or 1/2 cup sugar in the raw
1/2 cup of wheat germ
1/2 cup raisins or craisins
1/2 cup chopped dates

Melt butter and add honey.  Add oats,wheat germ, sunflower seeds, nuts and coconut into a large bowl. Mix all together then add melted butter and honey. Stir together then pour onto a greased pan.

Bake at 250 for 40-45 minutes stirring every 15 minutes until golden brown.  Let oat/nut mixture cool then add raisins, craisins, and dates. Keep in a sealed container.  Use within 3 weeks.  Perfect with milk for cereal or to eat with yogurt. 

Crunchy Blessings to you all,

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Quote of the Week


                             Positive things happen to positive people.

Happy Blessings,


Monday, August 5, 2013


Not that many have probably noticed but I have been MIA since April. 
Health problems reared their ugly heads and I have been one hot mess!

    I had been having some sharp pains in my side for several months and then on May 15th, I felt just awful.  After sitting at my desk and doing my daily paperwork, I decided to head on over to the Emergency Dept. since my Dr. couldn’t get me in that day.  So I go to the ER and they figure out pretty quickly that I have appendicitis and will need surgery.   I was schedule for a 5pm surgery that evening.  In the meantime, my family members started trickling in to see me.  Well, 5pm rolled around and no surgery—it had been pushed back for a more serious case. Next scheduled at 7pm and guess what.  It was postponed again to 9pm, then to 11pm and then finally I had surgery at 1 am. About time!!

  Now, mind you, nothing is ever easy for me!  My laproscopic surgery,  that I would have a 1-2 day stay in the hospital for, turned into a hand assisted laproscopic surgery because my appendix had ruptured.  Then to add insult to injury, the surgeon had to remove part of my colon and reconnect it to the small intestine lengthening my hospital stay to 7 days!

  In the past I have had 4 c-sections and a hysterectomy.  I figured recovery would be very similar to my past surgical experiences.  Boy,  was I wrong!  This surgery kicked my butt!  Maybe It was just that I am older or maybe that I was sick to begin with but it has been a rough road—a really rough road!

Before going to my follow up appointment, my incision became infected.  Another bump in that rough road. The Dr. cauterized it and put me on antibiotics. Went back after one week and the incision was no better.  The Dr. opened it back up and we had to wet-to-dry pack it until it was healed. Well, guess what-It is August and it still isn’t healed completely.  There is a small area still open just below my belly button.  It has been cauterized 4 more times but it still is open and leaking.  Even with an open incision, I returned to work.

  Did I tell you nothing is ever easy?  Well, I had noticed that my thumb nail was looking like the cuticle was infected.  I did all of the regular things for it—soaking in hot soapy water, and soaking in Epsom salt water.  It kept getting worse and the infection went into the pad of my thumb.  It Throbbed and throbbed.  So much so that I decided to go to the new express care to have it looked at.  The Nurse practitioner sent me on to the ER(Again) and they tried to lance the side of my thumb.

It didn’t work. So they called a hand surgeon and he said to see him first thing the next day.  I went and he said I had a felon and that he  would like to treat it conservatively with antibiotics.  So off I go to the pharmacy for my Bactrim.  Fast forward 4 days.  My thumb is not just throbbing, it is killing me!  So I call the Dr. office and go back.  He went ahead and opened my thumb up and tried to remove as much pus as possible.  More antibiotics and soaking.

  By Saturday morning I was feeling much better. The cut alleviated the throbbing!  It is still bothering me but not nearly as bad.

  So this is what I have been contending with for the last few months.   I just haven’t felt like myself at all.  No interest in doing any of the things I like to do so I did ……….nothing much while I was recuperating.

Nothing much at all—just call me slacker girl!  Depression played a great role in my recovery.  I struggle with it anyway and when I am sick it gets worse.  I feel so bad--I could have gotten so much done while I was off work for 8 weeks and I didn’t.  But, you know, the inactivity was what I needed to get better.  I slept a lot and relaxed and that was a good thing.   I am feeling much better and hope to make a fresh start with my blogging.  I’ve missed keeping in touch with some of my followers so I hope to remedy the situation ASAP.
It feels great to be back to blogging and I hope this post finds you all happy and healthy!
Blessings to you all,