Friday, March 28, 2008

Moving Day is Here!

Yes, it is thataway to my new blog site! I have decided to move before I had it all done since it is easier to just write from there and hope everyone has patience as I figure all this out. My own .com, my own blog host and hopefully a better blog.

Please come join me at my new place.

Ain't No Place To Put A Sticker

I look forward to seeing you and serving you from there.

Preserve those frugal finds

What is the point in being frugal, finding all kinds of great buys and buying in bulk if you are going to waste it or lose it all?

It is that time of year again when bugs like to venture into the house. Some hitch a ride on food, especially food from "natural" and bulk stores. I have had them enter my pantry in cereal boxes, granola from the bulk containers and other whole grain products.

Two years in a row I lost everything in my pantry while I was away on vacation and one year I lost it while home. All this since moving to Texas!

I have learned some things to protect those frugal savings as well as the other pantry items. To prevent or get rid of the bugs:

First, Remove everything from your pantry. Everything!

Now, wash it all down with some vinegar water or cleaner and then the vinegar. Let dry and air out and fully dry.

Get some food grade diatomous earth and sprinkle it on the back of the shelves and the floor. It is not anything that will harm you but will keep out the bugs. Since doing this I have not had them back.

Before putting anything in the pantry, check it good. New boxes of cereal have come in with the tell tale "web" inside the "airtight" package.

Then, freeze your whole grains, rice, corn meal etc. This will keep them from getting infested.

I then took all my other things and put them in well sealed air tight containers. Now, this is not a guarantee as these bugs are persistent!

I ended up with the bugs from my granola from Central Market. This is a big place that sells a lot of that type of bulk food, yet it had bugs. They were not there when I brought it home, but I put it in the pantry and a few days later there they were. Since they were in a good container they had not spread at that point, but I have never gone to that store again!

I love frugal finds and bulk stores are a favorite for my husband and I. But I hate losing my frugal finds and then making them an expensive .

For more frugal ideas, go to Biblical Womanhood!

Thursday, March 27, 2008


Patience. What a word. I really dislike it.

I announced I was going to move my blog to my own .com, and I am. Just not as fast as I planned. It seems that this week has been busier than normal, plus a sick baby, who so nicely shared with her grammie.

I am using blogger here, of course you know that, but need to switch to Wordpress for putting it on my own .com. Everything is different. I can't seem to find a template that I want, when I do it does not have the right widgets, or does not go with the title of my blog or some other thing.

I know, you are probably one who has done this, and wonder how someone who was taking web design classes can be stuck and slow. Who knows!

I do know I am learning, and hope this will all be a positive move for the blog.

Here is the reason for some of my slowness. Isn't she adorable?

Sick or not, she is a sweety!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

This Weekend

It is coming. I am officially the owner of three new domains. I will only be using two of them. Had to buy the third one to get the one I wanted as he would only sell me the two together.

My blog will be moving as soon as I get my templates set up as I want them and I am excited. I plan on a little bit of a new direction, a whole different look and hopefully get to be a better blog.

I have been with blogger now and this will be all different, but I want more control over my blog and the look of it. I want to add pages, be able to eventually have a newsletter and have more interaction with my readers. I am nervous about the move, but think it will be better.

Since I am working around a toddler it may take me a bit of time to get it set up, but I am hoping that it will be up in a week. I may be slow at posting, so please be patient with me.

When the big move comes I will let you know, post my url and look for you there!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Free Software!

This is not only Frugal Friday, but it is Good Friday also. I wonder what this holiday is to you. If you will go to Meet Me In The Garden I have shared what it means to me

Today I want to share with you a place that offers free software. Every day they have a giveaway of the day and that item is free. You must download it and get it unzipped before the day is over or they will charge you the full price. I am one to download and then when I get to it I get to it. Do not be tempted to do that if you download from Giveaway of the Day. Open it right away!

If you look on the side of my blog you will see what today's giveaway is. My link is not an affiliate, so click away. I get nothing, but I wanted to have it there to make my readers aware that there is some good software being given away.

How could anything be more frugal than for FREE?

For more frugal ideas go on over to Biblical Womanhood!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Easter Bread

I am also using this recipe for favorite ingredient Friday at Overwhelmed with Joy. For more favorite ingredients check Favorite Ingredient Friday!

Today is works for me Wednesday at Rocks In My Dryer and I want to share an Easter Recipe that I like to make.

I have made this bread for church breakfasts, the kids when they were little and for the big kids here and it is good and eaten up fast. Have extra eggs (hard boiled!) on hand. The eggs used in the recipe are raw, they cook with the bread.

Braided Easter Egg Bread

3 eggs
1/4 c. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 pkg. dry yeast
3 1/2 c. flour
2 tbsp. butter
2/3 c. milk
2 tsp. grated lemon peel
6 colored eggs (do not hardcook)

Five hours before serving, mix sugar, salt, yeast and 1 cup flour. Heat butter and milk until 125 degrees. With mixer, mix liquid into dry ingredients. Beat in 3 eggs and 3/4 cup flour. Stir in lemon peel and 1 1/4 cups flour. On floured surface, knead dough 5 minutes. (Add about 1/2 cup flour.)

Place in greased bowl; let rise 1 1/2 hours. Meanwhile, dye 6 eggs, but do not hard cook! When dough has risen, punch down; divide into 3 parts. Braid dough and make a circle and place on large greased cookie sheet. Let rise 1 1/2 hours. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. When dough has risen, decorate with raw colored eggs. Bake about 30 minutes or until golden brown.

For more Works for Me ideas go to Rocks in My Dryer. Or Favorite Ingredient Friday at Overwhelmed With Joy!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Weekend Meltdown

I had a melt down. No, the temperature in Texas did not get so hot I sweat to death, but an emotional melt down this past week.

As the week went on I became more and more upset with me. It started out by feeling "I was ugly, my curly hair was not doing what I wanted, most of my clothes are all getting old and stained because I am a dropper and splatterer." What I do not get on them my granddaughter does. "I am fat. Why buy new clothes when they only look bad on me anyway? Besides, I don't have the money. I am getting old. My next birthday will put me among the dead, I am sure. Before my 1st husband died I was doing all kinds of creative things, was active in the church, had been game director for church camps, kids programs, led VBS, organized the town craft fair. I made crafts of all kinds. Then my husband got sick, I was caregiver and many things were put on slow. He died and I died with him inside. My life went upside down. I was 5 years in limbo (with more going on then I want to mention as it would take a book). Now I am in Texas, married to a wonderful man and feel like all that I have gifts for, creativity for has been put on a shelf, or in the casket with my 1 st husband. Besides all that I am brain dead on my blog and I am fat and ugly and getting old." On and on my mind went.

Ever get like that?

I cried a number of times, and I do not cry so much any more. I whined to my husband. I looked in the mirror and looked fatter, uglier and older every time. My clothes are getting bad, but why get more when I am looking so bad? I was a mess.

Sunday morning I woke up and grumbled at my wonderful husband. He was thinking maybe he did something or did not do something that made me feel that way about myself. He did not. It was all me.

It was then that my mind got to thinking about something else. I thought back to the week after my first husband died and my sister took me out on a whale boat. I lived in ME, always wanted to go out on one, but never did. Now I was going. I was still numb from the death and funeral, but I was excited too.

I have always felt peace when I would get near the ocean and this was a stress relief for me. We were out in the ocean, whales surfacing and saw some other fish as well. I found myself praying. I was thanking God for the trip and telling Him that it does not get any better than this. Since I was a pastor's wife and we lived in the parsonage as part of my husband's salary I knew I would have to move somewhere else. I asked the Lord to please move me near the ocean. I told him how I needed the ocean for relief and how for me it could not get any better than what I was seeing. I reminded Him I could not afford living there as prices were high, but I had faith enough that HE could make it possible anyway. My prayer ran deep and from my heart. Then HE answered with something that about knocked me overboard:
"Are you willing to give all this up for My best?"
My answer was just as quick and to the point:

I did not mean it rebelliously, I was just so hurting from losing my husband and in shock yet, but I meant "no" . How could God ask me such a thing? I just had 4 years of taking care of a husband who was a wonderful man for 29+ years of marriage. All through being sick and knowing he was dying he did not complain much. Now God is telling me that I am going to have to move from my kids also? How could He?

Time went by, I moved from Maine, back to Maine, away from Maine again. I knew God was preparing me for something, I did not know what.

Now, here I was this weekend feeling down and feeling like all my abilities, gifts etc are on a shelf in ME and I am here. God blessed me with a second really wonderful, loving husband and he is worth being here for, but still, I wondered why I had no outlet for anything yet.

When God reminded me of the whaleboat He said that this is His best. He has a plan, and I am being changed to fit that plan. All is not lost, set on a shelf. I am not brain dead, I am trying to do things myself and getting impatient instead of waiting on Him.

OK, so I still need to lose weight, I still need to get new clothes and do something with my hair and I am STILL GETTING OLDER, but the real me, the me God plans on using is being changed into what He wants me to be. I need to rest in Him, relax and know He is going to do it in His time.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

An Amazing Woman

There are so many people out there that feel they can't make it. Life has brought them things that they feel they can't overcome. Maybe choices they have made have put them in the situation and now they feel like "woe is me". We all have times like that, but I am talking about the many people who are out there in the world that are able to work or do things and claim they can't.

I have seen some people with a leg missing and they are crying the blues over being disabled and wanting to sit around because they "can't do anything".

Some time ago I lived in a small community where there were many able bodied people collecting welfare and sitting around all day crying because the government is not caring for them right. (Not to mention they were selling drugs by night, right across the street from me and under the street light at that!)

Today a video came my way about someone who was more disabled than many people, yet does not give up. I wanted to share this with you and maybe it will encourage you like it did me. We face things, but not many of us face what she faces every day.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Getting Cheap Prints- HELP!

I wish Crystal would run a backwards Frugal Friday like Shannon has backward Works for Me Wednesday once a month. So, for today I am making my own backwards day and asking your help.

I am trying to make some memory books and use some pictures I have. However, I need to make a lot of photos. I also need to make copies of photo's for my wall that I am making into a family wall.

When getting the prints I need in the amount I need I need to do it as frugally (CHEAP) as possible, yet with quality that is not going to fade like some do it yourself inks do.

I won the 5 minutes for mom bloggy giveaway of a camera and $50 to spend in Kodak gallery which will help a lot, but I still need more. Can anyone recommend places that do a good job, are reasonable and do not make up the difference in the photo cost by charging a lot for shipping?

Thanks so much!

Now, for some ideas for being frugal, go to Biblical Womanhood!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Penny saved is a penny earned

I am really grateful to Rocks in My Dryer for having Works for Me Wednesday. I really love backwards week when we can ask things that are not working for us, thanks for all who helped me last week.

In our house money is tight. My husband and I are struggling the same as others and sometimes we just want to get away or do something or treat ourselves to something we normally would not buy.

I have been a bit frustrated lately about some of this. We do take money each week from an extra job we have and each get an "allowance". We can spend it no questions asked. It is not much, but adds up if you are like me and do not spend it. For my husband it does not hold up so well!

As I was thinking about this and how we want to get away this year sometime I remembered back to what I used to do but have been not doing very well the last few years. Every time I would go out and shop, get gas etc, I would put the change in a spot in my purse not to be used. When I came home I would put it in a container. Not just any container, but old milk cans.

I have two old milk cans. The kind that hold about a quart or so and when families needed milk they would fetch it in these cans. One of my cans came from my grandfather. When he was 10 he would take that can and go to the store for his mom. He would come home with the milk for the family. The other one is not as old as my grandfathers (his is 100 yrs old!) but it works as well. I put the pennies in the "newer" one and the rest of the change in the older one.

When I was faithful about doing this, I would save up vacation money. It adds up fast when you keep putting it in there and not taking it out. When the can gets full I roll them and put the rolls in a safe place and keep adding to the can.

I have started it again. It worked for me before and I am sure it will work again.

For more ideas for Works for me Wednesday go to Rocks in my Dryer.

Monday, March 10, 2008

It is Finally Here

Remember the Bloggy Giveaway? Well it seems like ages ago to me. You see I won the 5 minutes for mom giveaway. It was a Kodak camera plus $50 gift card from Kodak gallery.

I have been so excited!! When I found I won I watched my mail. And watched it. And watched it.

No package.


Believe it or not, when I tried for that prize I was not being greedy. I wanted the gift card as I have a lot of photos I want prints of. I would have liked the camera, but I was not going for the grand prize, just the smaller prize. So why was I having to wait so long?

I guess I needed to learn some patience. God must have thought so anyway, I think I had all the patience I needed. Now, where was MY camera?

Kodak sent me an email that I should have it by the end of the week. Yipee!!! I watched my mail like a hawk. Was the end of the week ever going to get here?

Well, the end of the week came, but not the camera.

My camera and precious gift card were lost in the mail. Several weeks later I finally got my camera. Kodak sent out another one and it came last Friday. I grabbed the box, kissed the Fed Ex guy and opened my box. WOW, there was my gift card, and camera.

My weekend was so busy I did not have time to play with it at all, but last night pulled it out and took a picture.
My husband will not be too happy about me sticking this in here, but here it is. He was sitting at his computer and I pulled the camera out and had to try it. I need to learn to get the lighting right and get my programs into my new computer so I can edit the photo's, but that will come.

I guess this means I have enough patience now, so do not need any more lessons, right Lord?

Anyway, Thank you Kodak and 5 Minutes for mom for this gift.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

I am a Flip Flop

Ok, I took this fun quiz and thought I would share it with everyone. I found the link on Ima on (and off) the Bima . I love reading her blog and this time there was this fun quiz.

I found out that I am a Flip Flop! Here is what it said about me:

You Are Flip Flops

You are laid back and very friendly.

Cheery and sunny in disposition, you usually have something to smile about.

Style is important to you, as long as you can stay casual.

It takes a lot to get you to dress up!

You are a loyal and true person, though you can be a bit of a flake.

You tend to "play hooky" and blow off responsibilities a lot more than most people.

You should live: By the beach

You should work: At a casual up and coming company

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Keeping Family Close

Today is Works for Me backwards day at Rocks in My Dryer. This means instead of me sharing something with you, you share with me.

I find it strange that I can forever think of things I need help with until it is time to write a backwards works for me and then my mind draws a blank. This is where I find myself right now.

My mom has been here for 11 days, we drove to MO for a wedding over the weekend, came home Sunday and had the kids over today to say good bye to my mom. I am tired and tomorrow we bring her to the airport so she can head back east.

This is all said to bring me to my question. Four of my kids and 11 grandkids are in Maine, one daughter, a grand daughter and another grandchild due in September are in NC. My mom and most of my siblings are in the NJ/PA area and a brother is in MO, where we went to the wedding. I live in Texas and have 3 step children here as well as 4 grandkids. For those of you whose family is as scattered as mine, how do you keep go about keeping close ties?

When I went to the wedding this past weekend I realized I hardly know my brother and his family any more, we have lived apart since college. I miss my own kids and they all have busy lives as we do. I would like to do something to help us all keep up and close, but wondered what others do in this situation.

Thanks for your ideas!

For more backwards works for me go to Rocks in my Dryer.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Missouri, Oklahoma and home again

Ahhhhhhh home. Nice to be away, but nice to return.

My computer went down.

My mom came.

We left for Missouri, my first time to that state.

Went to a wedding. A beautiful wedding!

Drove home.

Today I am tired! Mom is spending her last few days with us as she leaves on Wednesday. Hopefully then I will have a computer going, things getting back to normal and my posting be regular again.