Friday, December 14, 2018

Frugal Friday File 2018, week 50...

1.  Standing in front of the fridge on Wednesday, I was wondering what I could combine to make a supper,  I saw a variety of small quantities of vegetables that needed using up but no meat except some bacon.  I had plenty of eggs, so I decided to try my hand at a frittata.  I've never made one before, so it was a learning experience.  Next time I will know to have all the vegetables prepped/sliced before getting started.  Once you start, it moves pretty fast.  

2.   One day of work this week.

3.  Caitlyn had a school project that required copious amounts of adhesive tape.  She was working on it while we were there on Sunday, and that's when she exhausted their household supply.  I knew we had some, so I came home and rounded ours up.  Not knowing how much more she would need, I just kept gathering.  I delivered eight partial rolls of gift-wrapping tape, and as a joke I picked up two huge rolls of packing tape and added them to the lot.  The project has been turned in, and the tape has all been returned.  I also loaned Kasey my car to drive the girls and Caitlyn's project to school on the due date, as she wasn't sure how to fit said project through the doors of either of theirs.   The project was a roller coaster built from paper, by the way.  Apparently her teacher assigns this annually to each of her classes.  Beau is contemplating scenarios to get the teacher fired before Chloe has her next year.  ;)  This was more frugal for them than for me, I suppose, but at least I know I won't need to purchase any tape for our gift wrapping.  

4.  I took Rudy to the vet yesterday.  He was acting rather uncharacteristically low energy, and he has yelped several times lately while chewing on a favorite hard toy.  We thought maybe he had broken a tooth, and with the listlessness I was imagining an infection might have set in.  Since I had to work today and Monday, I didn't want to put off taking him.  Yes, you guessed it, he is completely fine, no problems could be found.  How is this frugal?  Well, for a mere $60 I have peace of mind that I won't have to call the emergency vet over the weekend.  (Yes, I know, that is a real stretch.)

5.  Gasoline prices are still low.  I filled up at $1.86 per gallon on Wednesday.  That was about two weeks on one tank of gas, which for me is pretty good.

Frugal From the Kitchen This Week:
Saturday:  pasta w/ Italian sausage
Sunday:  Sunday family supper at Kasey & Beau's
Monday:  *TexMex
Tuesday:  *barbecue
Wednesday:  frittata
Thursday:  leftovers
Friday:  soup

(*not-frugal takeout or dinner out)

Friday, December 7, 2018

Frugal Friday File 2018, week 49...

1.  I booked two days of work; one next week and one the week after.

2. Found some Italian sausage in the freezer that was looking a little iced over.  Moved it to the fridge to thaw, and will use it in tomorrow's pasta instead of purchasing ground beef.

3.  Reading a library ebook.

4.  Adjusted soup recipe to include the remainder of portabello mushrooms that needed using before they shriveled up.

5.  Cold and wet weather makes staying home with a cup of hot chocolate and soup in the slow cooker a luxury not to be taken for granted.  

Frugal From the Kitchen This Week:
Saturday:  *sushi
Sunday:  Sunday family supper at Kasey & Beau's
Monday:  *sandwich
Tuesday:  *Chinese
Wednesday:  smoked oysters on crackers
Thursday:  *Whataburgers
Friday:  Beef & Winter Vegetable Stew

(*not-frugal takeout or dinner out)

Monday, December 3, 2018

Library Quilt Group Christmas brunch...

This year we did a Secret Santa gift exchange in our library quilt group.  We were to make six gifts throughout the year, all to go to a single person, but we didn't know who.  At the December brunch today we drew names to see who was the recipient of our gifts.

I had an appointment at the dermatologist (it was either take the opening from a cancellation today or wait till after the first of the year), so I wrapped all my packages in matching paper/ribbon (they look very Grinch-like to me...LOL) so they were easily identifiable in case I didn't make it back before the opening.  I lucked into having a perfect-sized box that just arrived from Amazon to transport them in, so I wrapped it to match too.

Below are the gifts I made in order from my least to most favorite.

Spring shopping bag - meh
I wish I had added a yellow button to each center of the yo-yo flowers and leaves to the stems, but I ran out of time.

Kitchen towels with prairie points
I'm not crazy about the black fabric on the white towels, but I like the vintage kitchen cookery print.

Set of 4 quilt-themed handmade Christmas cards
These were the last things I made, and my time was down to the wire.  I wasn't feeling great, so I kept them really simple.

Coffee mug with sewing tools image

Valentine pillow

Bowl made from fabric-wrapped cord
I love this, and will make myself one very soon.  They can be made pretty much any size and shape.  It was so satisfying watching it take shape relatively quickly.  

I had this much of the post written last night, and had planned to take photos and show what I received as well.  But the dermatologist this morning took a small spot off of the bridge of my nose.  The bandage they applied, that has to be left on for 24 hours, makes my glasses sit askew, so it is making everything a little difficult.  I will try to take photos of the lovely gifts I received at another time.

Friday, November 30, 2018

Frugal Friday File 2018, week 48...

1.  Worked 2 days this week.

2.  After a crazy day at work, my brain was tired.  When I got home Carey asked if I wanted to go out to eat.  Well, heck YEAH!  But we got to our favorite little dive, and they were closed for the day.  Surprisingly, I wasn't all that disappointed.  I suggested we go back home and have breakfast for dinner.  But when we got home and I saw what was in the fridge that needed using up (ground turkey, slaw mix, shredded carrots) I made Inside-Out Egg Rolls instead.  It wasn't great, as I over salted, what with all the soy sauce, but it was edible, and I was happy to cook perfectly good food instead of having it go bad, as it was getting close.  And I even bit the bullet and took the leftovers for work lunch the next day.

3.  I clicked on a Kindle deal of the day, but Amazon alerted me to the fact that I had purchased that particular book previously.  Thank you, Amazon, for keeping me from a duplicate purchase.  I also had signed up for a 7 day free trial of Showtime through our Kindle Fire TV, and after about 2 days I realized it was totally not worth paying for, and immediately canceled any further service.

4.  So thankful for health insurance.  This week and next I saw/will see my primary-care physician, the 2nd half of the sleep study, the dermatologist, and the clinic to have my port flushed.  I also need to get back to the hand specialist, but I think that will have to wait till after the holidays, as I have lots of making to do that will require both hands.  :)

5.  I don't want to sound like I'm bragging, but I was able to fill up my tank with gasoline for less than $2 a gallon this week.  Perk of living in a petroleum-rich state, I guess.

Frugal From the Kitchen This Week:
Saturday:  Chicken Curry
Sunday:  Sunday supper at Kasey & Beau's
Monday:  Inside-Out Egg Rolls
Tuesday:  Dublin Coddle
Wednesday:  *Tex-Mex
Thursday:  I can't remember!
Friday:  late lunch, skipped supper

(*not-frugal takeout or dinner out)

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

What I'm reading Wednesday...

Bear Town by Fredrik Backman

I've read other books by Fredrik Backman and enjoyed them.  I love A Man Called Ove.  I mean, I really love Ove, because though my husband isn't called Ove, he embodies Ove.  :)

I wasn't sure if I was in the right mood to read Bear Town right now, but it came so highly recommended by Janet At the Little House in the Swamp (better than Ove, she says!?) that I had to immediately reserve the ebook from my library's website.  I'm not very far into it, as I have SO many other things to get done this week in addition to working two days and a doctor's appointment.  Maybe the doctor will be running late, and I'll get time to read in the waiting room.  :)

Friday, November 23, 2018

Frugal Friday File 2018, week 47...

1.  There was leftover roast and potatoes in the fridge earlier this week.  I had meant to make soup, but I couldn't get excited about any recipes.  So I diced them up along with an onion and a couple of baked sweet potatoes and made hash.  Topped it with some over-easy eggs, and it made enough supper to feed two and make two work lunches (minus the eggs).

2.  I was out of brown sugar while I was baking pies for our holiday.  Instead of driving 7 miles to the grocery and fighting the crowds, I went to Google and sought a substitute.  I knew that commercial brown sugar is only granulated sugar with molasses added, but I needed a ratio and method.  Oh my gosh, such an easy fix.  One cup of regular granulated sugar and two Tablespoons molasses stirred together in a bowl is such an easy substitute for one cup of brown sugar.  I guess molasses may not be a staple in everyone's pantry, but happily it is in mine. 

3.  Daughter and s-i-l were hitting the sales today at the exact store I needed an item from.  Carey has a Christmas wish that required a different set of knowledge skills than I possess.  Son-in-law to the rescue.  Carey's Christmas gift is marked off my list, while my car was kept off the roads.

4.  Put the flannel sheets on the bed this week.  Keeps us warm without raising the thermostat.  And the fact that they are over ten years old and still going strong is pretty awesome.  :)  Buying good quality pays off in the long run.

5.  Reading a library ebook on my Kindle.  Pre-treating stains before clothes go into the hamper, prolonging their life.  Paid all bills on time.  Using cloth napkins...really old cloth napkins...those things last forever!  Being thankful for frugal parents who taught me lots of useful and frugal skills.

Frugal From the Kitchen This Week:
Saturday:  *sushi
Sunday:  Sunday family dinner at Kasey & Beau's
Monday:  salmon Buddha bowls
Tuesday:  Two Potato Hash w/ sunny-side up egg, and green beans
Wednesday:  *Schlotzky sandwiches
Thursday:  Thanksgiving feast at Kasey & Beau's
Friday:  Shrimp Alfredo served with spaghetti squash

(*not-frugal takeout or dinner out)

Be sharp...

Yesterday, the only things I made for our Thanksgiving dinner were the dressing and three pies...and a big mess.  (Kasey and Beau made everything else.)

I seemed to have used a lot of knives.

A few months ago, Carey got irritated, because I had bought yet another paring knife.  I said I kept buying paring knives, because I was searching for one like my favorite.  He knew just which one I was talking about, and he agreed that it was the best.  It is sharp and it stays sharp, and it fits in my hand comfortably.  And that sparked a decision for me.  I took that much-loved knife in hand and examined it very closely...and I found a maker's name...Victorinox.  Who knew my little paring knife, that I have loved for years, was made by the Swiss Army knife manufacturer.

I looked online, and, sure enough, was able to find the exact knife in numerous colors (found here and here), and they were not expensive at only about $6 - $7 a piece.  I bought one in every color.  I keep them (point down) in a mug on my counter top next to my cutting boards, and it makes me happy to look at them, because I know no matter which one I reach for it will be my favorite.  I cook a lot from scratch, and we eat a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables, so I may use a paring knife several times a day and want to have plenty so when some are in the dishwasher others are still at the ready.

I had a special request for apple pie for Thanksgiving dinner this year.  I don't know about anyone else, but no matter what I am using an apple for, whether just to eat it with peanut butter or chopped in tuna salad or sliced for a pie, I begin by quartering it.  Then I cut the core off the quarter, then I pare the skin.  It just seems the easiest to me.
And look at that strip of peel in the background...barely any waste of the pulp at can practically see through that strip of peel!  And THAT is why these knives are my favorite.  

All my old paring knives are in the Goodwill donation box.  :)

Here are yesterday's pies.   Apple in the foreground, the Chocolate Bourbon Pecan (aka Derby Pie) is in the middle, and the pumpkin is in the back.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Buddha Bowl success...

I was reading The NonConsumer Advocate the other day, and she mentioned Stacey Flowers' videos on YouTube.   I liked this one in particular.  It made me think differently about how I prepare 'bowl' combinations, and resulted in a SPECTACULAR dinner at our house last night.

I've always liked 'bowls' when eating out, but the ones I've tried at home have been sort of unimpressive.  After watching Stacey's video about 'dressing' each item, it sort of clicked, and I was ready to try again.

I cooked some quinoa which I had rinsed and drained well.  I started by first adding a little bit of olive oil to a deep sauce pan with some finely diced onion and garlic, then the quinoa and let them all 'toast' for a minute or so.  Then added the water and cooked per package directions.

Once I had the quinoa started, I preheated the oven to 425° F.  Then I lined a large baking sheet with foil.  I poured about a Tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil onto the foil, and spread it around with my finger tips to make sure the foil was covered with a light coating of oil.

I peeled and sliced some red beets and some golden beets.  (I've never cooked them before, but Stacey's looked SO good that I went out and bought some.)  I put the slices in a large Ziploc bag with about a Tablespoon of olive oil, and squooshed them around to lightly coat all sides with oil.  Then I laid them out at one end of the prepared baking sheet.

I peeled and chopped two sweet potatoes.  I put them in the same Ziploc bag.  I didn't add any more oil, I just squooshed the diced sweet potatoes around, and then added them to the baking sheet.

I rinsed and trimmed a handful of Brussels sprouts (as I'm the only one that likes them), cut them in half, and put them in the same old Ziploc bag (again adding no additional oil) and after squooshing to coat the sprouts with any oil clinging to the bag interior, I added them to one corner of the baking sheet.  

I tried to make sure the baking sheet was not over crowded, and to keep the vegetables somewhat separated.  I sprinkled with salt and pepper, and roasted them at 425° F for about 30 to 40 minutes, flipping them once toward the end of the roasting time.  When the vegetables were nice and tender and caramelized, I lifted them with the foil liner off of the baking sheet and set aside.  

I added a new foil liner to the pan, put the salmon on the pan with some salmon seasoning and baked (still with oven set at 425° F) till the center was almost done (about 10 minutes, but it depends on the thickness of the fillet), then removed the sheet from the oven and let the salmon rest for a few minutes on the sheet to continue it's final cooking.

To assemble my bowls, I started with chopped kale tossed with some lime juice and a little salt.  I added about a cup of quinoa in the center on top of the kale.  I put some roasted beet slices on one side, some roasted sweet potato on the other side, and squeezed in some roasted Brussels sprouts where they would fit.  I placed a serving of salmon (with skin removed) atop the quinoa, and drizzled with a Balsamic reduction.

These turned out absolutely DELICIOUS!  And relatively low in WW points, since the only things that had points in the bowl were the oil, quinoa, sweet potato and balsamic; all the rest of the veg and salmon are zero point.

And now for a humorous postscript:
Someone (who shall remain nameless, but lives in our garage apartment) is into the peak season at work with the holidays coming up.  I texted him a photo of the really fab meal in our fridge for him if he so desired.  He came in from work exhausted about midnight and took his 'bowl' to go.

Today it occurred to me that I might better send him a warning.  His response made me truly laugh out loud.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Frugal Friday File 2018, week 46...

1.  Christmas tree is up...not decorated...but up.  :)  Early, I know, but I wanted Carey to put it up before he had to go back to work.  Several sections remained dark when it was plugged in, but adding a couple of strings of lights found among the decorations should hold it for at least one more year's use. (I think this is the third year I've said this.)

2.   A check that I had written and mailed for a doctor bill got lost in the mail.  When I called my credit union to put a stop payment on it so I could pay the bill with another check, I was fully expecting to pay the $20 stop-payment fee.  I was pleasantly surprised to be told that because it was a postal issue, the fee would be waived.  Nice surprise.

3.  And speaking of the credit union...  I just made the last payment on the loan we took to pay for the kitchen remodel.  New plan for the freed-up money is for it to go into savings every month.  

4.  We have hit freezing temperatures the last few nights and the days are chilly.  Rudy definitely needs a coat if he is outside for any length of time.  Though the 'sweatshirts' I made him last year kept him warm, they were rather difficult to get on and off over his head and front legs.  At the end of the season last year I picked up a velcro-fastening dog coat on clearance for $2.  He is wearing it now, and it is much easier to get him dressed and undressed.  
Such a dapper dog!  :)

5.  I made a birthday card from supplies on hand, and dropped it in the mail.  I refilled the foaming soap dispenser by my kitchen sink with 98% water and 2% regular dish washing when my hands are greasy it works better than other hand soaps.  I paid $2.07 per gallon today when I filled the car with gasoline...down about 60¢ in the last few weeks.

Frugal From the Kitchen This Week:
Saturday:  big lunch, so *ice cream for supper!
Sunday:  Sunday family supper at Kasey & Beau's
Monday:  Dublin Coddle
Tuesday:  Roast, potatoes, carrots, broccoli
Wednesday:  *Tex-Mex
Thursday:  breakfast for supper
Friday:  open-faced roast beef sandwich

(*not-frugal takeout or dinner out)

Friday, November 9, 2018

Frugal Friday File 2018, week 45...

1.  I bit the bullet, and bought a new phone.  My old smart phone was all but unusable after a loooong life of service.  Replacement is a new smart phone (I don't know that I could go back to any other), but I don't do a ton of web surfing, and I don't watch a ton of videos either, so I went with a lower price model that had what I need, but not all the extras.  Spent $180 rather than $600+.  I researched certified rebuilds, but they were not noticeably less expensive than the one-time price I paid for a new phone with the new service provider.

2.  I am switching phone service providers.  I'm going with one that, from what I can gather, uses my old provider for their coverage base.  It also has no contracts and drastically lower costs.  I will be paying $40 monthly for unlimited calling/texting and more data than I regularly use...rather than the $125 I've been paying monthly for far too long for the same options.

3.  I have filled out 3 surveys this week for free 'Rt 44' soft drinks at Sonic.  I'm still not drinking Coke (over 2 months with no cravings!), but the unsweetened iced tea is also covered free and the extra, extra magic ice I request is free too.  There's no purchase required to get the free drinks, so I regularly go for a treat without even opening my wallet.

4.  Fuel prices are down.  We will be taking another mini vacation soon, so that will make it even more enjoyable.  :)

5.  I walked into the living room yesterday to find our sofa upside down in the middle of the room.  Carey left it so while he went to his shop for tools.  It seems that it had a minor break in a support.  He repaired it with tools and spare supplies for $0.  I do want new living room furniture eventually, but not at this very moment.

Frugal From the Kitchen This Week:
Saturday:  *Schlotzky sandwiches
Sunday:  Sunday family supper at Kasey & Beau's
Monday:  Chili
Tuesday:  *dinner out
Wednesday:  late lunch, skipped supper
Thursday:  Chicken Pot Pie
Friday:  breakfast for supper

(*not-frugal takeout or dinner out)

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

What I'm reading Wednesday...

Every Fifteen Minutes by Lisa Scottoline

This is the book I got awhile back from The Little Free Library that is located in front of one of our favorite restaurants.  It's been on my bedside table just waiting for me to pick it up.

Monday, November 5, 2018

Making it Monday...

I showed this little peak at my most recent cross-stitch project back in early October.

Then I showed this close-up sneak peak last week.  Now that it has been received, I can show you the whole project.

The cross-stitching part of the project went SO quickly!  "Why a skull?" you may ask.  For Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead), of course!  It's a big thing in this part of the country.  If you happened to see the Disney movie Coco, you get a sense of the traditions and celebrations that are all about remembering and honoring loved ones who have passed.  The skulls are called 'calaveras' or 'sugar skulls,' and a sweet friend of mine collects them.  

Here's where the progress started to slow...when I had to start adding those itty-bitty beads.  The challenge was the tiny eye of the beading was a smaller beading needle than I have ever used.  And, no, it wasn't just that my eyes are getting old!  A needle threader wouldn't even go through it.  I tried every trick in the book, and then I tried anything that came to mind.  Seriously, threading the needle took way more time than doing the actual bead work.  


Here's a close up that really shows all the beads in place.

Once I finished all the stitch work, I trimmed the excess perforated paper away and added a card-stock backing and a loop for hanging.

Since I was mailing it, I built a card around it.  I tried stamping the card, but the busy-ness of the sugar skull's design fought against any stamping, so I just used punches to make a flower crown (another tradition of the day) which also holds it in place on the card.  The sugar skull can be easily removed and hung in a window or added to other Dia de los Muertos decorations.

I naively believed I could get this finished and in the mail in early October so it could be used to decorate, but sadly I was late getting it done, and didn't get it in the mail until November 1, so it was received late...but it's the thought that counts, right?  :)

Friday, November 2, 2018

Frugal Friday File 2018, week 44...

1.  The hubs turned 65 this year.  After receiving our property tax notice last week, we remembered that we needed to claim our state's over-65 exemption which freezes home property tax at the rate of the year you turn 65.  Today we trekked to the county seat to do the paperwork, and were happy to learn that the freeze is at the rate it was at the beginning of this year not the statement we just received.  That alone will save us a lot this year, not to mention going forward.  

2.  Quick two-day trip with the hubs.  The kids took care of their brother (Rudy) for free. 

3.  Monday is quilting day at the library.  I thought we would be out of town, so I didn't register until, so no need to leave the library website.  So blessed to have a library with such great programs and space too.  The main library is under construction to add additional spaces, so we are meeting at its temporary annex, but still room to spread out and sew, and still free.  And I can't wait to see what the new improved spaces will be like when the library construction is complete.

4.  I have gone another week without replacing my phone.  It is getting less and less reliable, however, so it won't be long.

5.  I am seldom bored.  I can always entertain myself at home by cooking, sewing, creating something*, reading.  I attribute the ability to entertain myself to being a latchkey kid and spending so much time at home alone while my parents were at work.  Whatever the reason, I am really thankful, as entertaining yourself is a lot cheaper than paying for entertainment.  (*Of course, my hobbies aren't cheap, but that's a story for another day.)

Frugal From the Kitchen This Week:
Saturday:  late lunch, snacked for dinner
Sunday:  Sunday supper at Kasey & Beau's
Monday:  Inside Out Eggrolls
Tuesday:  Roasted Spaghetti Squash w/ meat sauce
Wednesday:  Tortilla Soup
Thursday:  *road eats
Friday:  ???

(*not-frugal takeout or dinner out)

Thursday, November 1, 2018

A finish...


I had to put this one down and walk away a few times.  It was very challenging, and now that it's done I have a great sense of accomplishment.  

I'll show the whole thing after it has been received.  I just couldn't wait to say, "It's DONE!"

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

What I'm still reading Wednesday...

Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult

A week in and have only made it to 37% (thank you, Kindle, for letting me know that).  Love the writing and the characters...or hate the characters, as the case may be...but the topic is distressing.

Friday, October 26, 2018

Frugal Friday File 2018, week 43...

1.  No takeaway meals this week.  We are going out tonight though.

2.  We cancelled our vacation plans.  Instead of one long trip, we may take a couple of different 2-day trips during Carey's three weeks off.  The main reason for this is that our plans for dog sitting fell through, and I just don't want to kennel Rudy for two whole weeks.  (The kids offered to handle things, but Jared works such odd hours, and Kasey has enough pets at her house as it is.  

Truth be told, I wasn't really excited about taking a trip this year.  (We just took a long trip last year, and the planning and logistics were a lot of work!)  The first clue should have been whenever anyone asked me where we were going on vacation this year, my answer would be something like, "Oh, I'm not really sure.  I just can't get excited about anything."  I'm much happier continuing to sock away vacation savings, and plan a special trip for next year.

3.  I just picked up 4 quilts from the long-arm quilter.  While it isn't cheap, she is very reasonable as long-arm quilters go, and she is wonderful to work with.  Now I just have to get them bound in time for Christmas gifting.

4.  I was in the city this week, so I made a trip to Costco while I was there.  I avoided impulse purchases.  (I actually looked at pre-lit Christmas trees...our current tree is losing lights by the strand every time we plug it in...but I walked away.)  No movies, no books, no calendars, no gift wrap.  I bought apples, oranges, pears (the pears are YUM!), bananas, deli turkey breast, walnuts, salsa, and dishwasher detergent.  I avoided the giant bags of lettuce, as those would go bad before we could use it up.  I wanted the pack of small individual cups of hummus (I have trouble with portion control when it comes to hummus), but I have an open container in the fridge that needs finishing before it gets replaced.

5.  Health insurance!  I've had two medical appointments this week, and a third was postponed due to an issue at the facility.  Today I spent a good hour and a half getting a pint (half a liter) of blood drawn.  I have to have this done about every six months.  It doesn't usually take quite that long, but they tried letting it drain into a bag this time, and I just don't give it up that easy.  :)

Frugal From the Kitchen This Week:
Saturday:  Frito Pie (I had mine with very little Fritos & cheese)
Sunday:  Sunday family supper at Kasey & Beau's
Monday:  leftovers
Tuesday:  Chicken Curry
Wednesday:  leftovers
Thursday:  Shrimp Scampi served in Roasted Spaghetti Squash
Friday:  *dinner out

(*not-frugal takeout or dinner out)

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

What I'm reading Wednesday...

Small Great Things  by Jodi Picoult

Today is cool and wet, raining all day, and though there are a million things that I should be doing, I finished up the last book and started this one.  

Friday, October 19, 2018

Frugal Friday File 2018, weeks 41 & 42...

Week 41 Successes:
1.  Worked two days this week.

2.  Quilt retreat is this weekend!  We are a pretty frugal quilt group.  Instead of eating out or paying for catering, we bring our own breakfasts and lunches, and usually snacks to share.  For dinners we pair up, and each pair shops for groceries and cooks dinner for the group on an assigned night.  

3.  Filled up at my favorite low-price station when I found myself nearby on a work day with an almost empty tank...36¢ less per gallon than stations closer to home.

4.  Packed all works in progress to finish up at the retreat.  No new purchases of fabric, patterns, etc.

5.  Carey's time off coincided with the retreat, so no having to make special arrangements for Rudy while I was gone.

Frugal From the Kitchen This Week:
Saturday:  Baked Stuffed Sweet Potato w/ grilled corn & black beans
Sunday:  Sunday family dinner at Kasey & Beau's
Monday:  *sushi
Tuesday:  *Chinese
Wednesday:  late lunch, skipped supper
Thursday:  *dinner out with the hubs 
Friday:  * dinner out with retreat peeps

Week 42 Successes:
1.  There was a misunderstanding on the quilt retreat center fee.  We had submitted a check for the 2018 price, but because we booked it in 2017 we should have paid 2017 price.  They refunded the difference.  My share was $15 back.

2.  I worked one day this week.

3.  Rainy weather makes for wonderful stay-home days.

4.  Cooler temps means the A/C is turned off.  No need for heater either; it's comfortable in the house during the day, and the down blanket makes nights cozy.

5.  Completed a customer survey for Sonic to get a free iced tea.  

Frugal From the Kitchen This Week:
Saturday:  retreat eats
Sunday:  retreat eats
Monday:  retreat eats
Tuesday:  Winter Vegetable Stew
Wednesday:  *Tex-Mex
Thursday:  *Schlotzky sandwich

Friday:  late lunch so smoothie for supper

(*not-frugal takeout or dinner out)

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

What I'm reading Wednesday...

finally finished the last book that took me weeks...and it wasn't even worth the trouble.  

The Hypnotist's Love Story by Liane Moriarty

Currently I'm reading another library ebook, and I'm enjoying it so far.  A hypnotherapist begins a relationship with a nice man.  The man happens to have a former girlfriend stalking him.  And the stalker makes an appointment with the hypnotherapist.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Home again, home again...

The fall quilt retreat was very productive for me.  I took a lot of projects that I had started at other retreats, but just hadn't ever quite finished up.

This black and white starburst was pieced at a previous retreat.  This year I added the black border.

This one is called Tag Team and is a Missouri Star pattern.  It has been sitting in its project box mostly done, but with a few rows of pieced blocks to be sewn onto the top.  This retreat I finished that up, and I added the two borders.

This Meadow Mist 2016 Mystery Quilt has also been sitting in its box waiting for me to make a decision about borders.  I took it with me determined to just get it done!

This jelly roll race I had done on a library quilting day awhile back.  It was smaller than I wanted, so this retreat saw it getting cut into two pieces (zip zip!) and I added the strip of blue with lighter squares pieced into it.

Same issue with this jelly roll race, which was completed at a previous retreat in a 'race competition' (which I didn't win...ha!).  For this one I cut a narrow strip off of one side and then used a seam ripper to separate the top portion, and then inserted an aqua stripe, the portion that had been cut from the side, and another aqua stripe.  Not sure how I feel about this one, but i think after it is quilted and has an aqua binding added to it that it will be okay.

This Irish Chain was started and finished yesterday, then I added the borders this morning.  The pieced top looks a little washed out in this photo, but it is very pretty in person.  It may be my favorite.  :)

I think I finished this half-square-triangle top at the first retreat I went to.  All it needed was to have a piece of flannel pieced to fit for its backing.  That little chore is now done.

I have already called the long-arm quilter and made an appointment to take all of these to her for quilting.  Six are intended for Christmas gifts, and I will have to hustle to get them all bound.  The #7 is a throw intended for our sofa.  

I am SO excited at having these ready to quilt!  I'll be even happier when they are bound, wrapped, and under the tree!

Thursday, October 11, 2018


Yesterday was one of my busy days that are necessitated by my procrastinating ways.

I started early getting onions in the slow cooker to cook for 13 hours.  The Beef & Winter Vegetable Stew (which I'm making at the quilt retreat on Sunday) calls for 2 cans of condensed French Onion Soup.  But since one of our group has a pretty severe gluten allergy, and since the canned/condensed isn't one that Campbell's certifies as gluten free, I decided to make my own.  The onions are now cooked and stored.  I didn't add the broth, as I figured it would be easier to transport it packaged from the store and add once we get to the retreat location.

I also browned the stew meat, vacuum sealed it, and put it in the freezer to keep till needed.  I froze it pretty much in a single layer so it will thaw quickly.

I chopped the vegetables for the retreat soup and vacuum sealed those as well.  Now MOST everything is ready to just assemble in the slow cooker once there.

I did laundry.

I changed the bed.

I decided on what projects to work on at retreat, and all the individual project boxes are stacked and ready to put in the car.  I decided to work almost solely on WIPs (works in progress) and will  hopefully come home with several ready to take to be machine quilted.  Finishing that last little bit to make them ready to quilt is another thing I procrastinate on...therefore I have a lot of WIPs to take with me.  All should be fairly quick things, like putting on borders and piecing the backing fabrics.

I went to the city to drop off Goodwill donations that have been in the back of my car waiting to be dropped off for far too long.  I wasn't about to take the several boxes and bags of donations back into the house, and really needed my car empty so I could pack it with sewing machine, projects, and groceries.

While I was in the city, I purchased a few things I needed for the weekend...bobbins and needles and threads...oh my!  I want to have lots of bobbins already filled so I can just change them out as I empty one without having to stop and refill one at a time.

Today I am working, so I won't be doing much prep work at all today.  Maybe run to the grocery on my lunch hour to pick up some apples.  And then maybe I'll get those bobbins filled this evening.
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