Sunday, April 18, 2021

Sunday Non Meal Plan


     I  should be thinking menu plan but last week was so off, it doesn't seem to make sense to recap. We did eat-too well probably. After a very early and busy morning, DH is making us hamburgers for lunch. The deli had $1  a pound potato salad so that will be a yummy side. Supper will be leftovers-pasta, pizza, mac and cheese, and whatever else needs eating up. What's not eaten will be my lunch tomorrow. The rest of the week?  To be determined. I've two kinds of Trader Joe's fresh pasta, and a few other nice things in freezer, fridge, and pantry. A stir fry sounds good, and maybe the quiche and enchiladas I didn't make last week.

      I had a little success yesterday at the church garage sale and a nearby "downsizing" sale where I found a couple planters for 50 cents each. At the church  sale, I found the plastic child's high chair seat, perfect for all the little beings at the lake and in perfect shape. I found like new jeans for the girls,  brand new floor lamp for either DD1 or the lake, and a couple other items for her. It was  $5 end of sale for whatever fit in bag. I had a bag plus chair, but gave them a $10 as I still got bargains and proceeds went to camp scholarships.

      I just finished scrubbing the planters and doing a bit of planting. I am using a big blue one indoors without its drip base to transplant monster plant. Because it's tapered, it  fits in the lined basket still. I got the moldy dirt cut away and hopefully there's lots of room for roots.

     Short post as I'm trying to get more tasks done after lunch and before my daughter's 4:00 choir concert. If the day stays nice, maybe I'll watch outdoors. She'll be moving home for the summer two weeks from today. I'll be happy to see her. Enjoy your day.


Saturday, April 17, 2021

Saturday Random Bits and Bobs

      Am I even using that expression right? Bits and bobs? I think it's supposed to mean things, items, to pick up in a store, around the house, but probably not thoughts. Well, I like it for my various thoughts in my head and things I am putting on lists. My daughter is gone this weekend, so no latching on to her free time this weekend. We're still a week away from our second vaccination so unless it is to meet up with someone outside, I'll likely hang out with no one this weekend but DH. Well, I do have a lot of projects, many inspired by you all. We still haven't hit multiple days without frost, so not pushing the yard work too much, but likely DH will be out there tomorrow as the grass is starting to get long. No signs of my hostas yet. 

      I'll do another walk around and pick up stray sticks and other yard clutter-we get incoming toys from the large family of kids next door. I collect  multiple pieces of toys, balls, shooty things (end up in our gutters) on a regular basis and toss them back to a corner of their yard, or make a neat pile and leave by their fence gate. I lose track of the number of kids they have-I think there might be 7 under 12? She has  five children from her marriage, two who are adults-one who married young but doing quite well as a nurse, with a husband and two children, and the son who must be 23 now, but no clue what he is up to. He had troubled teen years, but I' hoping for the best for him. She has a  a 17 year old that just had a child, and I just learned was diagnosed with leukemia (17 year old not baby) and twin 10 year old's, one of which has down syndrome. He absolutely loves DH, and whenever he sees him working outside, he has to know what DH is doing and will come over and pick up sticks and put in our fire pit for him, or just watch what he's doing.  The man neighbor has  the 12 year old from his marriage, who I think lives there most of the time. 

     Then, I think there are four kids they have together-nope five-they had another baby last year, so eight children under  12. Other than just loud kid noise, the occasional fights, crying, and mischief you would expect from a lot of kids, they are Ok as neighbors. We don't know them well, but chat when outside. He tends to yell out their back window to their fenced yard when the kids noise and fighting gets too much, but I don't know if I've ever heard her raise her voice other than to maybe call a child back. The girl twin and the next in line girl who might be 8, like to rollerblade and bike together and when they see me outside or walking always wave and say hello, share if they were in school or  did online school. One asked me why I am home alone all the time-she noticed! They both take the younger two boys, maybe 6 and 4, and a perhaps two year old girl to the playground, pulling the littles in a big red wagon. They are very nice young girls from what I see, and must be a lot of help to mom. They do have a nanny that comes everyday with her own child, but  mom works outside the house. It's all very fascinating and I can't imagine I would cope 1/4 as well, but I guess it works for them. Do any of you care about my neighbors? Probably not, but  was thinking about them as  I saw the girls out early on their bikes this morning. 

     Being nosy about my neighbors aside, I've decided I will drop in at the church garage sale and the thrift store this morning and see if I can find any big pots to transplant my very large out of control plant. Then, a stop at the hardware/garden store for the flower seeds for the pots. Does anyone know how deep Sunflowers need for roots? The little tiny pots I planted last Sunday are growing like crazy. With plans to rip up the deck and the things in the backyard, I want to do things in pots so I can move around. 

     Supper tonight will be the homemade pizza I talked about yesterday. I'm going to even make a yeast dough for the crust, and do the nice garlic and herb butter for the crust. I'll load with veg-onions pepper, mushrooms, artichokes, tomatoes and pepperoni. On Thursday about 1:00 I mentioned to DH I was hungry for Chinese food. Well, that went away and he cooked pasta. I must have planted a seed for  him though because he called at 5:30 yesterday and asked me to order at 6:00 and he would pick up after work. He devoured his cashew chicken, but  the  sesame chicken I got was so filling, I have more than half left. We each had an egg roll and a couple of the cream cheese  wontons too, and there's a couple of them left as well. The egg rolls were free with a $20 order so after tax, our meal only came to $24, so not too bad for take out with leftovers. Lunch tomorrow (and for me today) will need to be  all the random leftovers  that have accumulated this week. Meal plan was really just a bunch of suggestions this week. Grocery needs are slim-the milk went bad early-I hate that. So besides milk, we need  a bit of cheese and fresh fruit, and coffee. I even have a few seltzers and a couple unopened bottles of wine, so feel our take out splurge was mitigated by limited grocery needs. I found enough coffee to make it this morning-sans milk, but won't treat myself again. 

     It's time to get myself going I guess. I feel a bit less hopeless today about society and plan to throw myself this weekend into good and positive things. I got decent sleep last night and woke up before the sun, so nice to see the day begin not feeling  dragged down. Wish me luck on my hunt for pots and planters. I will be sure to share any success I have. 

Friday, April 16, 2021

Whole Lot of Weather


     For my weekly Friday W's, I'm starting with  a new one-Weather. We have had sun, rain, snow, and even a little heat-in the car later afternoon that is when I went to collect something. April in Minnesota brings a whole lot of weather changes and we never know what we might get day to day. I wish weather was the top story in my state, but sadly, the whole world seems to know where Minnesota is right now, and not for good reasons. 

 What's top of mind: Life was pretty "normal" this past week for my life, but anything but what should be the norm in  my Minnesota communities. I am flooded with thoughts on the latest police shooting that resulted in the death of a young black man in my state, while also seeing headlines of other stories where  the outcome for white people involved in police interaction had very different results. Is it media exploitation as some are screaming when they then throw "facts" and stats out to  justify and minimize the tragedy? But if the media doesn't throw a spotlight, how will people know these discrepancies are happening? I won't condone the riots, looting and physical damage and assault on neighborhoods, but am trying to listen through the noise. Of particular note, I didn't hear anyone tell the rioters that they are "special" and "we love you." Enough said

Where I've been:  No one cares any more that I went to Trader Joe's but that was my big outing! I'm out of coffee-forgot twice in the last week to buy it, so I splurged and ran this morning and bought cup through the drive through. Riveting excursions, I know. Oh, and I took a walk in the spitting rain with the dog over to the mail box by the grocery store to mail RSVP's back for a wedding. 

Where I'm going: It was quick, but the book for book club is ready for pick-up so I scheduled a time for the end of the day. Other than a very light grocery shop-coffee-I don't have a need to go anywhere, though I am still wanting new pots and need to do some transfers, Plus, I'd like to get  the wildflower seeds. I am already seeing little sprouts from the sunflower and Forget me Nots are poking through from last Sunday. Maybe it was the peat compound, but maybe the plastic wrap creating a little green house, I think I will try that with outside seeds. Thoughts?

What I'm reading:  As mentioned, I'll be picking up the book club read for May, The Book of Longings by Sue Monk Kidd. If we get enough sun and warmth, I'll be happy to sit on the porch wrapped in a blanket, mug in hand, with a new or through books, go visit some old friends. 

What I'm listening to: I listened on Monday t a lot of the BBC coverage of the death of Prince Phillip. Of course my probably incorrect knowledge came form The Crown, so learning more form people that actually knew of his life was interesting. I think there was a news story about the BBC though getting  a record umber of complaints regarding the coverage-too much perhaps? 

What I'm eating:  We had another week with ho hum meals. But, DH was hungry for good burgers and offered to cook Sunday, so  happy to step aside. Then last night, he felt like pasta and made  penne with mushroom and tomato sauce with garlic bread last night while I was still working. he even emptied the dishwasher and cleaned up! I'll take it and wont' complain. My meal plan is all off, so no clue what I will make tonight. I reserved some of his sauce for homemade pizza and we do have some veg to use up and I bought pepperoni at TJ's last weekend. Perhaps homemade pizza. 

Who I'm paying attention to: I'm really stepping back from social media, Facebook in particular, as I am absolutely sickened by some of the posts and comments I have read by people I have known most of my life or their life. This is what the last  four years have done-let everyone with hateful, racist, biggotted thoughts feel free to post self righteous, nauseating crap. I won't respond, just make a mental note of who to have as little contact as possible with, and remove from my radar. 

What I'm planning: With vaccines happening in my family, I am turning to thoughts of summer and getting together with people. Schedules will fill fast so am going to reach out to some friends about the week we have the extra cabin in August. Things are still on the fence about Mother's Day. I'd personally would rather just take my MIL out for dinner one night the week before or after as my SIL said she would have her for dinner on the evening of Mother's Day. We already are seeing family the day before and limiting my time, particularly in a pandemic, racial justice, and politically charged world, with people that have a lot of different views than myself is wise. Then, there is planning a fall road trip-not off my radar. Lot's of things to plan, but most not until after May when I am part of the fully vaccinated crowd.

     I'm sorry this was a bit more of a downer for a Friday-this isn't what I want my blog to be. I use my Friday W's as a bit of mind purge, so I can get things off my head since I am limited in who I can have conversations with these days. This week was a hard one, so my Friday post reflects this, but writing my thoughts is a release for me. I'd love some fun and humor though so if you'd like to join me, drop your World of W's in the comments. 

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Thrifty Thursday-Mid-Month Edition

     By days end, April will be half over. We have had a cold, gray, and wet April, but things are greening up nicely. I'll take that, but sure will be happy when spring sunshine joins the grass greening and buds comin gout on trees. We're a month away form the lilacs and crab apple tree blossoms, but I am so enjoying the little peeks of cherry blossoms from   out East and the UK. That is what I miss about not travelling to DC in the spring time. If my youngest gets her opportunity to intern and perhaps work there, I will have reason to visit again. Viewing blooming flowers on trees ticks all my thrifty boxes of a good use of time, it is resource free, and costs nothing-travel excluded! Here are other ways I tried to economize this past week.


  • Friday night book club was a good conversation both about the book and life and happenings. Next month, we are tentatively thinking we may actually meet in person, if the weather is nice and we can be outside.
  • Yay! both girls vaccination part one is done. DD1 had her second booked at the tie of the first appointment, but I helped the college kid get her second one scheduled near us because the Walmart near her school could not schedule at another store. By May 22nd, we four will all be two weeks post fully vaccinated. I have alerts on multiple calendars.  (As of today, my son is eligible in California and I hope he has success.)
  • I went with my older daughter and we made a Trader Joe stop with it, and picked up lunch. Later we watched a couple upcycling videos as she has a couple hand me down pieces with good bones.
  •  I'm glad we went with our daughter to look at the second house. She really wants to find something, but I think we are giving her the support she needs to not rush into a decision that ultimately wouldn't be right for her. On the bad front though, her annoying neighbor couple above her broke up again, and this time the very immature obnoxious  women is staying in the apartment. She sent an aggressive text to my daughter warning her that it was her birthday a couple weekends ago, and she was going to have a party that would likely be very loud. "as I know you tend to not like when we are too loud." WTH-who likes their neighbors being too loud  on weeknights when your trying to sleep. These were the idiots that moved in at midnight, and throughout the night, on April 1 of last year, with a slew of kittens that grew into loud cats that run around all day in what was supposed to be a pet free house. 
  •  Chatted both with my son, and he's doing OK, and the college kid a couple times. She's applying for a few internships and needed help figuring out something for one. 
  • Trying to use up bits and bobs from the refrigerator and rescued apples for a crisp and blueberries for muffin bread.
  • Found a favorite shirt I hadn't worn in a while. It had a spot, but I was able to pretreat and let sit and it did come out. 
  • I really need new eye serum, but found a bottle pushed in the back of the medicine chest I forgot I had. There wasn't much in it, but a little of this brand goes a long way and I should get a good  week out of it, saving me another trip to Target until I need other things as well. 
  • DH got a few boxes broke down for the recycling pick-up. It was nice to get them out of the side of the garage. 
  • Placed a hold for the book club book, The Book Of Longings by Sue Kidd Monk. If I can get by April 30th, I should have plenty of time to read it, so fingers crossed it will be available. 
  • My college daughter had her induction in a Spanish Language Collegiate Honor society last night. She shared that she wore the black dress that she has had for four years, bought for $3 at a thrift store, with the  jacket her older sister gave her, bought on 80%  discount, but then decided it didn't fit her comfortably after washing. That dress probably has a cost per wear of 30 cents, and it is such a basic dress, I can't imagine she'll give it up until it disintegrates. Not my thrifty resource, but thought I'd share that I raised her frugally well! 


  • I earned enough points for another $5.00 Target card through Microsoft rewards. I keep forgetting days or I could be earning as much as  a gift card a month. It's not much I know, but I like the trivia part of the rewards program-its fun and how often can you earn anything on a hobby?
  • I did a survey for another $3  Amazon reward. I would have preferred something else, but the choices were things not near me. 
  • My statement came for the small life insurance from my dad's account. We pretty much just let it sit as it gains 3% interest, unheard of in a bank account. We could pull it all out and  invest it elsewhere for  hopes of a bigger gain and folks may think it's dumb I am not. We consider this part of the liquid emergency fund-it's there if we would need it, but earns a lot more than any other liquid fund source we have. Unfortunately, we can't add to it.
     The week was underwhelming in the thrift area due to my splurges at Trader Joe's. Considering though that was the height of my entertainment for the week, pretty cheap as I got to bring home my bounty. We also had some expenses that were irregular such as gifts, and the cost of the honor program dues. There's always something so I try for a balance in  thrift and splurge. How was the week on your end?