Thursday, October 17, 2013

Are You Ready? Readiness Challenge Week 1

                 Readiness Challenge
                                                            Are You ready?

 With the economy in such bad shape, are you ready for it to hit the fan?  I don't know about you, but the unstableness of our country is scaring me to death.  Just look what happened in Mansfield LA Saturday night when there was a glitch in the EBT Food Stamp Card system-mass chaos and the clearing of the shelves at Wal-mart.  Yes, Wal-mart decided to let the sales go thru while the system was down in order to let people keep eating, but the situation quickly went out of control in just hours.  Police were called to help with the chaos.  People, knowing they had no balances left on the EBT cards fraudulently bought food.  Massive amounts of food.  Why would they feel like they were entitled to get away with this?  They stole massive amounts of food knowing it was wrong.  What happens if the debt ceiling isn't raised and Government stays shut down?  What happens if SS checks and disability checks are not deposited?  Mass Chaos and extreme looting!  Panic!!
  What happens if there is a natural disaster?
  Will you be one of the people panicking or will you be ready to deal with the situation?  I want to be  ready.
    I have a supply of oil lamps, wicks, and lamp oil stored.  I have many candles and boxes of matches ready.  I have purchased a hand cranked radio/flashlight.  I have a pretty nice stash of food stored.  I have some water ready, but I do need to increase the amount I have stored.  I have several guns and ammo for them--to ward off thieves and to procure food.  I have a small garden ready to plant for next year and seeds tucked away.  I have cords of fire wood cut and 2 wood stoves to heat and cook with.  My propane grill tank is full and I have 2 full spares.  I have several  flashlights and batteries for them tucked away.  I have some cash stashed away for emergencies.
   Even with the above things prepped and ready, I still feel I need to be better prepared.  Due to my husband's disability, I am responsible for my family's safety and well being and I take that responsibility seriously!  The next few weeks I am going to be making/doing small purchases/activities to be better prepared for an emergency.
  I hope you will join me in building up your stash of emergency supplies.  If I can do it you can too so I hope you take up the Readiness Challenge with me!
  This week, I challenge you to build up your water supply.  You can use Coleman water storage containers to store your water in or  inexpensive cleaned out 2 liter bottles. After filling add 2 drops of unscented regular bleach to each 2 liter bottle These can be stashed under the bed, or behind  the couch.  Easy Peasey!  Also, you can store water in those empty mason jars sitting on the shelf.          
    Remember, you need at least one gallon of drinking water per day(3 day minimum) for each person and pet. This does not include water for flushing, bathing or cleaning dishes.  That is a lot of water!
     I figure I have a 40 gallon hot water heater tank full that can be used, but that will not last long.  So, I challenge each of you to increase your water supply in order to be Ready for it to hit the fan-be it an economic or natural disaster.

Until next week,

Tuesday, October 15, 2013


  Last night I sat thinking about what I would write about for Gratituesday. Soon after, my DD#2  came into my room to tell me that our friends 18 year old daughter passed away.  She had been battling bone cancer for several years but recently she developed an infection that she just could not overcome.  I grieve for her parents......just could not imagine losing a child.  My heart just breaks for their loss.  So......I am so grateful to God for having been given the privilege of having my children happy and healthy.  I am so thankful, so very thankful that I have them and pray I never have to know the sorrow of losing a child. Thank you God.  Thank you so very much.
The four loves of my life!(Several Years ago)
Please remember the Shay family in your prayers; 
                                                    Grateful Blessings for you all,

Monday, October 14, 2013

My Frugal Accomplishments This Past Week

Good Morning Everyone!
Last week I packed my lunch 4 days out of five.  I wish I had packed all five work days, but oh well, I’ll try harder this week!  
  I was able to keep the air conditioner off pretty much most of the week—we’ve had cool nights and warm days so hopefully we can take the a/c units out of the windows next week. Yes….lower electric bills!
  I have purchased white fleece for extra insulation on our windows.  I hope to get the panels made by the first of November. The panels will be hung on 2 tension rods inside the window frame in  hopes of  keeping the bedrooms warmer this winter!
  My uncle was sweet enough to plant several rows of half runner beans for me so my youngest and I went and picked beans for hours on Saturday.  Let me tell you, I am feeling it today!  I am so sore!  I enlisted my DH’s help in breaking and stringing them on Sunday as we watched the Bengals almost lose the game—almost!  Only got about half of them broken but I put the first bunch in the crockpot.  Yummy green beans, ham and potatoes for supper!  I will be canning tonight and my Mom is going to help me break and freeze the rest. Thanks Uncle Howard!
  We had one meatless meal this week—red beans and rice. While this I not Tom’s favorite meal, he ate it!  Grumbled a bit, but he ate it!  I am trying to make at least one meatless supper per week.  After Tom gets used to it I am going to try and increase this to 2 per week.  Wish me luck!  Lol!!
  What have you done to save money this week?  Please share in the comments—I love to hear from my blogging friends!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Crockpot Recipe-- Bean Soup

Oh my,  when I walked in my house this evening, I was met by a delicious aroma........Crockpot Bean Soup!   Hugs and kisses to the inventor of my favorite appliance!  The crockpot is the working woman's best friend!  Don't know what I would do without my workhorse of a crockpot. It is so lovely to come home to a cooked meal!  I have posted the recipe previously-you can find it here:    Such an inexpensive, warm, hearty meal for the cooler crisp fall and winter days.

                                                            Mmmmm, mmmmm  good!
Hearty Blessings to you all!


For the last few months, I have been struggling with sadness, depression, and feelings that I need to be doing more.  More to help our finances, more to help out others, more of everything.  I have been putting pressure on myself-expecting that if I do more I would be happier and things would be better. Well, after a day of doing less this past Saturday,  and doing things that I love on Sunday (sewing, crafting and quilting), I finally felt happier than I have felt in a long time.  I think I have been suffering from severe depression since my emergency surgery in May.  I just didn’t feel like myself anymore.   I didn’t want to read(which was a passion).  We didn’t even open the pool this year and swimming is the only sport or exercise I love.  I didn’t want to do much of anything that I had enjoyed doing in the past.  I know, I know, that doesn’t make much sense but that is how I felt. 

  So, I threw myself into doing more.  I think I have been putting so much pressure on myself to accomplish more to help my family and in the mean time I had lost my joy in life.  I’m not saying that I shouldn’t try to improve my family’s situation, just not put so much pressure on myself to do so much.  I need to find time to do the things that I love to do too—reading, quilting, sewing, and decorating my home.  My soul needs the joy I find in my hobbies and crafts.  I have to help myself first so that I can help my family in the future. 

  So, today I am truly grateful for finding a little joy in my life this past weekend!  I am realizing that less is truly more!
Grateful Blessings to you all,

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Project Homemade Christmas-- Cocoa Recipe

   One thing I plan on making for Christmas gifts is homemade cocoa mix. I put the mix into ziplock baggies and then into an embellished lunch bag. I fold over the top of the bag and hole punch it twice then tie a ribbon or string through to close the bag. Remember to put a tag on the tie to give the recipient the directions for use. This is a quick recipe or inexpensive gift that is just perfect for the cooler weather!

Homemade Cocoa Mix

1 1/2 cups nonfat instant milk powder
1 cup powdered coffee creamer
1 ¼ cup sugar or Splenda
2/3 cup cocoa powder

Add all of the above ingredients into a blender or food processor and mix until blended well. Store in a ziplock baggie or jar. Use 3-4 T per 8 oz. hot water. I love having this mix on hand for my family during the blustery cold winter! So lovely and warming!

Homemade Blessings to you all,

This post is shared here:
Little Homestead on the Hill

Lazy Day

Today has been such a lazy day! I have been very down lately and trying to find some joy in my life. Reading, although it has always been one of my favorite things to do, has not appealed to me since my surgery in May. I used to read 10-12 books a week, then after surgery, I just didn't want to read. Oh,I tried. It took me 4 days to read what would normally have taken me 2 hours. I just didn't want to read--it was very weird. So I bought a couple of romance books at the Thrift store this morning. When I got home, I picked one up and made myself start it. WooHoo! Once I got started, I couldn't put it down! So I have spent most of this rainy day reading and being totally lazy and I enjoyed every minute of it! We all need t search for a little joy in our lives don't we? Joyful Blessings to you all, Lisa

Friday, October 4, 2013

Batch Cooking Chicken

At my house, we love pulled chicken BBQ, chicken pot pies and chicken noodle soup. I love how easy it is to batch cook chicken for future meals. Can you say Crockpot? That’s right it will cook in the crock while you are busy with…Life! Place 2-3 pieces per person of boneless skinless chicken breasts in the crockpot and cook on low 7-8 hours. Take out 2/3 of chicken and freeze in 2 separate freezer bags for chicken pot pie or chicken noodle soup. Cool broth, then freeze in 2 baggies also—cook once eat 3 times! For pulled chicken BBQ- shred with a knife and fork. Add your favorite BBQ sauce—as much as you want. You can barely coat the shredded chicken or you can drown it, your choice. Salt and pepper to taste. Let cook on high for 30 minutes more, then serve on buns or in pita bread. Cole slaw is our side salad of choice for this meal! You could also prepare this for the freezer for another day—so nice to have meals prepared and in the freezer for days when you are in a hurry or when you just are not into cooking dinner from scratch. By cooking once for 3 meals, you are saving time and money—a win, win for sure! Batches of Blessings, Lisa

Tuesday, October 1, 2013


    Lately  I have been very down and wondering how to live in the moment more than looking and wondering about my families uncertain future.  One way to do this I think would be to figure out what I am grateful for at least on a weekly basis so this is the first Gratituesday post! 
   I think the one thing I am most grateful for is my family.  I am so proud of how my children have turned out.  They grew up doing without a lot of the things their friends took for granted.  We didn't spend lots of money on them(we didn't have it to spend) but we celebrated birthday with them and tried to make them feel so special on their day. We always made sure they felt loved. I am grateful for the opportunity to rear these children with my best friend and Hubby.  It wasn't always easy, heck it was never easy with 4 children, but we worked together to instill manners, kindness, and love of family in them.  Yes, I am grateful for my family! 

Do you feel better when you think of what you are grateful for?  I sure do!
Blessings to you all,

And the Winner Is.........

And the winner of the Halloween Decor Package is...........Jessica A.  Congrats Jessica!  Please E-mail me with your contact info and I will get this right out to you!  As I had so few people entering, Katherine and Christina you are also winners of a Happy Halloween Banner!  Please E-mail me your contact info and I will send out your banners asap!  Thank you to everyone who commented on my 250th post--I so appreciate it!