Saturday, July 13, 2024

This Week in Pictures...

Birthday card for first precious grandchild is 25!

Orange Sesame Chicken Salad recipe found on Instagram.  Really good!  Recipe here:

Braised Beef Shank Ragu turned out delicious!  Recipe linked here:

Rudy has never been given a bone from the kitchen.  Usually none are large/safe enough, but one of the shank bones last night was.  Even after I rinsed it to avoid staining furniture/rugs, Rudy is so enamored by it...still.  After gnawing it for a good long while, he started carrying it around the house peering behind furniture and in dark corners.  After doing that for awhile, he came back to me with a forlorn look on his face.

Friday, July 12, 2024

2024 Frugal Friday File, July 12...


1.  No meals out this week.  I did try a couple of new recipes.  One of them is in the slow cooker now, as I have a doctor's appointment this afternoon.

2.  Happy to say that Rudy's paw is much better without needing a vet visit, so I called and cancelled his appointment, and rescheduled it for next month for his vaccinations.  I was lucky that I had some Chlorhexidine wash in the cabinet to cleanse between his paw pads and then rinse and dry thoroughly.  I also brewed black tea with a crushed/dissolved aspirin in it and soaked his paw in that occasionally, and soaked it in warm water and Epsom salts occasionally to cover all the bases.  Also kept him pretty closely supervised, so he wasn't able to lick it incessantly, or at all with his sock on. 

3.  My grocery order was missing a container of unsweetened cocoa powder.  I had ordered two but only received one, so I emailed customer service and received a refund.

4.  I don't know why, but I thought I had to add beef shanks to grocery order this week.  Curiosity, I guess, as I don't think I've ever cooked with them before, and it wasn't even on special.  I had to look for a recipe that sounded fairly easy to do.  I adapted it to slow cooker (since I can braise in my slow cooker, it makes it a one-pot meal).  I had all of the vegetables to go in it.  Not so frugal were the two bottles of wine the recipe called for.  We don't particularly like wine, so not sure how this will go over.  It could be a complete bust, but I'm hoping it is edible, as I think I am making enough for tonight as well as a meal for two for the freezer.  If it is not edible, my penance for going out on this limb will be beans and rice on repeat.

5.  I didn't buy any books or fabric this week.  Except for the groceries, it has been a pretty economical week.  Stayed home, very little gasoline expended, made cards designed to use up papers from my scrap bin.  So far I have resisted the temptation to lower the thermostat; I use ceiling fans, then turn them off when I leave the room.  I'm experimenting with the store brand of's not bad, is much cheaper than Coke, and 5% of its cost is rewarded back on my credit card.

On the menu this week:

Saturday:  C had leftovers, I had a peanut butter & pickle sandwich  :)

Sunday:  Sunday family supper at Kasey & Beau's

Monday:  Meat Loaf, Baked Potatoes, Corn

Tuesday:  Orange Sesame Chicken Salad

Wednesday:  Tuna Salad Sandwiches w/ chips

Thursday:  leftovers

Friday:  Braised Beef Shank Ragu w/ Pappardelle

**designates meatless meal

Wednesday, July 10, 2024

What I'm reading Wednesday...

The Demon of Unrest by Erik Larson

I haven't finished last week's book (The Ministry for the Future) yet, only about twenty-five percent through it actually.  But my reserve of this one at the library came up, so I will start it today to try to get it read before it comes due.  Then I will go back to the other one.  

Both of these books are over five hundred pages!  I'm not having much reading time lately.  It's less than a month before both of the girls will be off to/back to college, so I'm trying to spend time with them while I can.  They are both working this summer for college money, so I'm catching time with them when I can.  Then at home I'm working on cards to mail them when they are back at school. 


Friday, July 5, 2024

2024 Frugal Friday File, July 5...


1.  I worked four days this week.  Wednesday I did NOT feel good, and at lunch said I wasn't sure I could return for the afternoon.  But before I could leave for lunch, the phone started ringing off the hook and each call was something that needed researching, or follow up, etc.  I ended up taking a brief lunch (Carey needed my car for the afternoon) and did go back to the desk after.  Got stuff done, then left a half hour or so early.  Thank goodness Thursday was a holiday; even though not a paid one for me, I needed a day off.  LOL  Oh, well, money in.

2.  We have now had our grocery credit card for six months.  I have not cashed in any rewards yet, as I wanted to see and report how much it has given us back.  When we opened the card, it offered $50 if we charged a certain amount within the first 30 days.  That was very easy money; the threshold was pretty low, and even though we only charge groceries and meals out on this card, we met the dollar amount required to get the $50 in rewards offered.  In the first six months of card use, being reimbursed 5% cash back for store-branded items and 1.5% cash back for all other purchases, our 'reward' total over and above that initial $50 is a tidy $111.87 (so a total of $161.87). Not too shabby getting that much back for food costs we would have incurred anyway.  And I haven't changed my shopping habits.  The store has very good store-branded products, but I don't always buy them if I have a favorite brand I like to stick with (which is often), but I do occasionally try a store brand which I hadn't thought of trying before.  It's like earning CD interest rates without having to tie up money.  No fees for the card, and I'm not paying any interest on my charges, as I pay balance off in full each month.

Now I'm torn about whether to claim the rewards earned, or let them continue to accumulate for the rest of the year.  It would be kind of cool to wait and be able to pay for our Thanksgiving or Christmas grocery order and have it completely covered by the rewards.  I'll let you know later.

3.  Except for one takeout meal and our Sunday supper at Kasey's, every meal this week has been prepared meals from the freezer.

     I haven't been out to the freezer, but Carey says there's a combination of single- and two-serving meals to feed the two of us six more times.  I guess I'm glad, but I kind of wish it were empty, and I could start filling it again.  I feel like we probably have already eaten our favorites.

4.  Last night we noticed what I believe is a hot spot on Rudy's front paw.  We put a sock/bandage on him overnight so he wouldn't be able to lick.  I researched a bit while at work.  A soon as I got home, I checked vet's availability.  They're not open on weekends, so I used website to make appointment for first available Friday.  I've researched home remedies, so will try those through the weekend, but if it's not better by Monday I'll call and see if they can see him sooner than Friday.  Fingers are crossed that we caught it in time to help it without a vet visit.  But even if we have to take him, it's almost time for his annual wellness visit, so maybe we can roll both into the same visit.

5.  I'm working on the menu for next week and the grocery order.

On the menu this week:

Saturday:  leftovers

Sunday:  Sunday family supper at Kasey & Beau's

Monday:  frozen Chicken Parmesan

Tuesday:  homecooked freezer meal Dublin Coddle

Wednesday:  homemade freezer meal, pork roast, mac-n-cheese, baked beas  

Thursday:  takeout fried chicken    

Friday:  homemade freezer meal Chicken & Rice w/ green beans

**designates meatless meal

Wednesday, July 3, 2024

What I'm reading Wednesday...


The Ministry for the Future by Kim Stanley Robinson

I've had this one on my Kindle for a couple of years, I think.  The other day, I actually heard a neighbor say the words, "Maybe there's something to this global warming thing after all."  You don't hear that kind of statement in our part of Texas much.  I heard it; maybe there's hope.

The head-snapping dichotomy of the cover endorsement by fellow author, Jonathan Lethem, is one of the best ones I've ever seen, and may very well be the reason I bought this book.  He said, "The best science-fiction nonfiction novel I've ever read."  Now that's a statement that intrigues me.  It's 578 pages, so it may take me awhile, especially as I'm working all week this week (except for the 4th).

You may recall that I said in Friday's post that I was not able to continue reading last week's book.  I did go back to it, and even finished it.  It got somewhat interesting for awhile, but then went back to what I dislike most about chick lit.  I canNOT recommend it.  I've already deleted it and another by the author that I had on my list.

Friday, June 28, 2024

2024 Frugal Friday File, June 28...


1.  Phone (land line)/Internet/Cable bill usually runs $230 a month.  =O  We receive Ph/I/C through a co-op. Once a year they return capital credits; we've been customers for twenty plus years so get a nice chunk...still not enough to pay the whole bill, but this month's bill totaled only $10.38.  Yes, I know that $230 a month for the rest of the year is too much to pay, but we are kind of over a barrel, in that the community's contract with the co-op makes the co-op the SOLE provider of internet service in this area.  Note to self:  Call co-op to discuss price for ONLY internet, since we don't use landline, and maybe we can do without cable.

2.  Thanks goodness the book I showed on What I'm Reading Wednesday was free, because it is really not my cup of tea.  I won't be finishing it.

3.  Still haven't gone for a haircut.  It doesn't look great, but surprisingly it doesn't look horrible.  

4.  Is continuing to put off laundry a water saving measure?  If yes, then I'm rockin' it!

5.  FAIL:  After dinner on Thursday I packaged the leftovers for a meal for the freezer, and set it out to cool.  After watching the debate, I completely forgot about putting it in the fridge.  Realized my mistake about midnight.  I was afraid to risk eating it, so that was a huge waste.

On the menu this week:

Saturday:  Chicken Spaghetti Especi├íl

Sunday:  Sunday Supper at Kasey & Beau's

Monday:  Easy Enchilada Casserole

Tuesday:  leftovers w/ non-leftover sauteed squash

Wednesday:  leftovers

Thursday:  Italian Baked Chicken, Seasoned Rice, Green Beans

Friday:  takeout Tex-Mex

**designates meatless meal

Wednesday, June 26, 2024

What I'm reading Wednesday...

Blank by Zibby Owens

I got this book for free from Amazon.  It's a new release by the author.  I have not started it yet.

Last week's book (A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas) was better than I expected.  It is a beauty-and-the-beast story, and was well written and has likable  characters.

Today Carey and I went to see the movie Thelma.  It's an action/comedy about aging.  Great cast.  I love June Squibb, and she is my hero for still acting at 94!  Richard Roundtree was great too and he was 81, sadly he has since passed.  Carey and I both enjoyed it.

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