Friday, February 15, 2019

Frugal Friday File 2019, week 7...

1.  I wanted to create new decor for above the fireplace to include some large wooden letters.  The chunky letters that I had in mind were too pricey for me.  I purchased some that are about 12 inches high, but only about 1/4 inch thick.  To create a more substantial appearance, I hot glued just two used wine corks to the back (one at the top, and one at the bottom) so that they stand out from the wall and have the appearance of depth.  I'm happy with the look.  A big plus:  the combination of thin wood and corks are so lightweight, each hangs securely on just a straight pin that I hammered into the wall.  No noticeable nail holes will be left when it's time to change decor again.

2.  Beef & Winter Vegetable Stew was on the menu.  Stew meat was $4.99 a pound.  I searched the meat case for another cut of meat that I could cut into cubes myself.  Boneless beef rib meat was $2.99 a pound, so I thought I would give it a try.  It was already cut into lengths of a convenient size, and since it was boneless, all I had to do was slice into chunks.  The rib meat cooked up very tender and flavorful in the stew.

3.  Though the meat was very lean for the most part, I was left with a small amount of scraps that I had trimmed away.  I tossed the scraps into a Ziplock bag, labeled the contents, and tossed the bag into the freezer.  When I have accumulated enough bones/meat scraps, I will make a pot of beef broth.  

4.  I'm working today; and locally so no commute.  Yea!

5.  Earlier this week, I had used almost all of my survey coupons for free drinks at Sonic.  (I only get drinks at Sonic; rarely food unless the girls are with me.)  I start getting nervous at the thought of no more free drinks.  :)  I diligently check my receipts to see if it has a survey offer, and this week I was rewarded with two.  Yea!  My favorite visits to Sonic are when I use a survey code for a free drink, and they hand me a receipt that indicates $0.00 due...and it has a survey offer for another free drink at the bottom.  LOL  

Saturday:  leftovers
Sunday:  Sunday family supper at Kasey & Beau's
Monday:  hummus, crackers, and vegetables
Tuesday:  *Chinese
Wednesday:  *sushi
Thursday:  Beef & Winter Vegetable Stew
Friday:  breakfast for supper

(*not-frugal takeout or dinner out)

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Happy Valentine's Day...

Blurry photo...sorry

I want to send out some love on this Valentine's Day to all of you who visit the blog.  I love reading your comments, and count the blog friends I've come to know over the years as friends in real life too.  

I found this wreath and unpainted letters at Joann's recently.  I've been wanting to do something different with the mantel decor for awhile, so I splurged.  (Though, of course, I used coupons and made the most practical choices possible.)  I actually bought more letters than just these, and will show soon when I take down the 'love' at the end of the month.  I already had white paint to paint the letters.  

The wreath is an artificial boxwood wreath.  The white flowers on the wreath are ones I use frequently in lots of ways.  The greenery on the wreath is so dense, that I just tucked the flowers in among it and they stayed quite securely without glue or being on picks, though probably not well enough if I was hanging it outside subject to wind.  This way, though, I can quickly and harmlessly remove them later to change out decor.

The potted hydrangea was a Valentine gift to us from Kasey & Beau (along with some yummy chocolate covered strawberries...mmmmm).  The little Westie on the left end is a vintage cast iron door stop that a sweet friend gave me years ago.

Do you change household decorations seasonally?  I get bored looking at the same thing for too long, and start yearning to gather objects from around the house to create a new vignette.  I mostly stick to the mantel.  

As retirement looms in the next few years, I have been thinking about downsizing.  Looking at house plans that are smaller, but still have storage that would allow decorations to be easily accessible to the living space (among other things that are subjects for a whole other post).

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

What I'm reading Wednesday...

Once Upon A River by Diane Setterfield

I think I have been on the reserve list at the library for this for months; long before I came upon the 2019 Reading Challenge.  Yesterday an email arrived letting me know that my turn had come, so I am leaving the challenge limits to travel to England for this story while I can.  

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Comment troubles...

I've heard from several readers that they are having trouble leaving comments here.  I'm not sure what that's about.  I do know that I have trouble commenting on other people's blogs when I'm reading on my phone, but that doesn't help me have an answer to share.  I received a notice that Blogger has been making changes recently, which is always frustrating, and usually leads to having to spend a day redesigning the blog.  I really don't have time to do that right now, so if you come and it looks like bare, concrete walls around here, know that I will get to it when I can.

But you know who isn't having trouble leaving comments?  Spammers!  I got the nastiest comment last night, and I'm talking nastier than the porn spam that I've received a few times in the past.  This one said that I, and all other baby boomers, are evil, that we have ruined the world, and why can't we just effing drop dead.  Nice, huh?  And that was a very abbreviated version.  I left out the parts with racial slurs and that were meant to degrade and terrify.  I am sure it was probably an email blast from a hate group somewhere, but it disturbed me...not like frightened for my personal safety...but frightened for our world that seems to grow more polarized and hostile each day.

So I leave you with a picture of cute, innocent kittens.  Look into those sweet little faces and think happy thoughts.

Saturday, February 9, 2019

No, it's not Wednesday...

I just finished this one, and I couldn't wait till Next week to mention it.

Elevation by Stephen King

This was a quick read at just 160 pages, and while short, it was also incredibly sweet.  I've read many of Mr. King's books over the years.  One disturbed me so much that I took a decade-long break from his work.  But this one isn't terrifying, or jolting.  It is well imagined and well written and, by me, well loved.

Friday, February 8, 2019

Frugal Friday File 2019, week 6...

1.  A trusted friend and I have been setting semi-monthly phone appointments to discuss financial goals and strategies.  It's been helpful for both of us, and...since my new, lower-cost phone plan still includes unlimited call minutes...frugal even though we are far apart.  My homework this week is to get a bid on auto insurance from a different company.

2.  The topic of decluttering is everywhere these days.  I noticed on our public library's website that they are having a program next week on "what to save and what to toss" led by a professional organizer.  Sign me up for some good, free fun.

3.  Looks like we're doing separate vacations this year.  Jared and Carey have a trip scheduled to Arizona to watch some spring-training baseball.  They are discussing making a quick side trip to see the Grand Canyon.  That would make me very happy, since Carey has wanted to see it, and I already have (and don't have a yearning to go back).  Jared is paying for the plane tickets, and Carey has his own 'fun money' set aside for hotel and car rental.  They will split meals.

4.  And within this past week or so, two opportunities for time away have come up for me.  One is a nearby spring quilt retreat (which, of course, is done very frugally by our group).  The other is a family reunion in Michigan...but not my family, so I said, 'yes!'  LOL  Thanks to last year's abundant work opportunities, I have some 'fun money' socked away that make both of these possible.

5.  Today I am: baking banana bread (with overripe bananas); sticking close to home to save gasoline and impulse spending (and so Rudy doesn't have to brave the cold temperatures outside); keeping the thermostat set a little lower than Carey likes it; making a few cards and writing letters; and printing some graph paper from an online source instead of running out and buying a whole package since I only need a couple of sheets.

Saturday:  *Schlotzky sandwiches
Sunday:  Sunday family supper at Kasey & Beau's
Monday:  No Peek Chicken
Tuesday:  *Tex-Mex
Wednesday:  Meatloaf, potatoes, broccoli, green beans
Thursday:  leftovers
Friday:  Goulash

(*not-frugal takeout or dinner out)

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

What I'm reading Wednesday...

The Last Midwife by Sandra Dallas

I'm about halfway through this one, and have realized that I read it a few years ago.  I can't remember how it ends, though, so I will keep reading.  :)
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