Monday, February 23, 2009

Just keepin it real.

Can I just say it's 3:16 A.M.!!!!!!!!!!!!

What is the matter with me? I started my B-12 today and had a route 44 Sonic (stevia sweet) tea (i REALLY like there ice and they gave us a 99 cent sticker for our car)! I think I finished around 9pm. What was I thinking?


First off..... A Big Squeeze to everyone who stopped by and commented on my crafty room and everything. I needed the pick me up. Thanks for the love!


Second...... Praise the Lord (seriously), I'm actually starting to feel better. My ears are still clogging on and off, but that's about it. 2 1/2 weeks of illness is crazy! I haven't been this funky kind of sick since High School. My Mom thought I was pretending to get out of wearing the lovely black, stretchy polyester dress she had to make me for chorus.(disclaimer: she had every right to think I was pretending) We ended up in the docs office for an adrenaline shot. Where does that kind of stuff come from? And who new????? It only takes 44 ounces of caffeine to get me hyped up!


Thirdly..........What a crazy weekend? I made the chickadees Lime Slushies and decided my garb`age disposal needed a clean out. Well I keep frozen mushy lemons in my freezer for such occasions. Hey- waste not , want not. Errr right?


Well, I popped them in(lime peels) that is. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrr, bluomp,bluomp, bluomp, grrrrrrrrrr. Everything is going great and the aromatic, citrusy smell if FAB U LOS! Then I notice the water isn't draining out anymore.Hmm. So I turn it all off and stick my hand down and there seems to be no problem.


So I turn the water back on and it starts squirting out of the reverse osmosis thingy. Good it's clearing itself out. But to be on the "safe" side I let Superman know. We head out leaving our responsible chickadees to watch old Gidget movies and eat a lovely, very garlicky white bean chili ( in my defense: I was trying to burn the sickness out!). I was later told they would not eat the other 2 quarts in the freezer.... I'll make it into something.


Back to the drama! We come home and the house smells very Italian. There is bean sludge in the sinks and it won't drain down.... Oh how I wish I had some pictures! We'll we decide to get showers then put the dishwasher on to make sure eveything's okay. Superman will take care of the sink in the morning.


Okay, I get involved in a movie and so does he. (we tried a new to us Scottish mini series -eh). So it's been a couple of hours. I go out to pop on the washer and head to bed, but no. There is water all over my wooden kitchen floors. Standing water that is. Superman was not happy:(


So he pulls everything out of the cabinets only to find out that the dishwasher has filled itself with garlicky bean sludge. No I had not turned it on yet! So it is now 12:00 am and we are dragging the shop monster vac upstairs (yes, I did it). We went to bed at 1am........


After church were all happy. Going to quickly put the dishwasher and the sink back together and get to planting the garden. All done! No, but wait! The Reverse Osmosis is now pouring water out all over the cabinets. Superman was more Super than he has ever been. The Lord really knew what I needed by giving me a Slow To Anger Husband. I truly thank Him for it!


So without further a`due. Here's my wonderful man. A bit tried and worn, but enjoying a wonderful homemade Steak and Cheese (his fav) and Sweet Tea.

Just Keepin it Real...........good morning it 4:15 A.M.!

julie

Friday, February 20, 2009

Shopping w/o Coupons

Today is Frugal Friday over at Biblical Womanhood and the question has risen. How to shop well and frugally w/o coupons. I would say I'm pretty much there... not because I'm Super Woman and have all the time in the world. No, my husband and I are not big on processed foods, even the organic variety. I'm rambling....

So here's what we try to do MOST of the time.

-I keep a pantry and always try to keep it stocked. I restocked this week after eating out of it for over a month. So if it's well stocked I can usually handle a small $200 or $300 emergency.

- We use a Organic Veggie Co-op. About 1/3 of my grocery bill goes towards. We get amazing produce!
Actually we received something like 8 - 3# bags of apples this week. So I'll be making apple chips on the dehydrator for future snacks.

- We grind our own wheat and make all our bread type items. I buy it in bulk and have been doing this for well over 10 years. It doesn't take that much more time (except for tortillas, which are a labor of love).
We also get our oats and less processed sugars and honeys this way. I buy these items about 2 times a year, to keep stocked. I usually save money monthly out of grocery money for these purchases.

-Meat and Cheese I buy the bulk of it 2 times a year. Through co-ops also. I can get lean ground grass fed beef for $3.50 a pound. Here the regular stuff is $3.29. I also by are cheese in 6# blocks. It keeps well in the fridge for 6 months or I sometimes freeze it. It's much cheaper than cheese from the deli counter and it's hormone free!

- I do shop BOGO sales at my local grocery stores. I don't make my own sauce (don't tell anyone). So I always stock up when available. I only BOGO the things we really eat. Occasionally I buy stuff we don't for quick takes to events, but now most people expect use to bring our whole wheat chocolate chip cookies or some other concoction.
None of our stores double coupons. That ended about 20 years ago around here. So that leads me to Warehouse shopping.

- My mom and I split the cost of Warehouse memberships. So we can shop Costco and Sam's. I really like them both for different reasons and usually hit 1 or the other every 2 weeks. Our stores are located right across the street from each other so travel is easy.
I do stay away from making other purchases in these stores!

-Chickens. We live it what is commonly known as Urban Sprawl, but we are allowed to keep hens. It's our new adventure and cost just about the same I was spending in eggs at Costco. We do this because, we like to feel a bit more self sufficient and we like chickens! They make great pets for the chickadees.

-Garden. we do a bit of this, but most of our produce comes from the above co-op. Are chickens love the extra veg!

-I use Aldi (they are new here) for a couple of items. So I hit them maybe once every month or so.

-CVS can be a real pain here so I shop mostly on vitacost and get extra online discounts. But I do use CVS occasionally when I have some really good coupons.

So that's about it. Boring I know. But I do it all for apx $400 a month for our Family of 6! That's pretty good considering the quality of the foods we are getting.

Do you coupon? How about Clearance shopping in the food aisle?
I'd love to here from you!

julie

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Nestor's Party- My Craft Room!

Well I wanted to get these up because Nestor is having a 10 minute to a beautiful room party. This has definitely taken more than 10 minutes. But in my brain it was only suppose to take a day! It's far from finished, but that's what a craft room is for. Right?



Here's a couple of before pics during the Children's Christmas play. Basically every surface was covered and I had to move stuff just to work.

Five of us craft, sew, scrapbook etc in this room. So space and good storage is an issue. The room is apx.10x11.


I really want my daughter's to grow up being Keeper's of their Homes. Home Decorating and Crafting Frugally is a must! You can have a beautiful home on a very tight budget. I also want them to be creative and have a place to show and explore their abilities. (alrighty let me jump down from my horse;)


Here's some after photos. The paint was from the $5 bin and too yellow. So I added alot of white that we had from another project! The blue I ended up having to mix myself to get the right look. And the red is a gingham check sheet. I went with these colors because I wanted it to be cheery, slightly vintage with a cottage twist. (was that a mouthful!) I forgot to take a pic of the curtains. I pulled them from my schoolroom, now I need new fabric for in there.(it never ends)



I have vintage red canisters that were my Grandma's and a really cool old radio that I listen to Dave R. and the likes on. One of the lamps at the "stations" has a dock for an mp3 player (which the chickadees use a lot).


We technically can seat 4 of us at the long counter. Then we have the closet that used to be.... tv center, baby changing station and my old craft area. Amazing how we re-invent to fit our needs!


Now Bump, bump, bump, bum!!!! (my trumpet sound)

It's Farmer Girl's craft area and the Little Chef stores her craft things here too!
Here's the machine that FG says sews like butter.

Notice the mess... I straightened it for the picture.


And look at this wonderful invention! I can close up the little chickadees craft area and feel relaxed. Ahhhh... so spa like!


I'm telling these doors are a blessing. I still have to be on her every other day or so, but it's better than it used to be. And she can craft in her own way.


Here's the curtain fabric. I still need to re-work them. I really wish I could find the fabric again.
So the cost were pretty high here, but it was my Christmas/ Birthday gift from Superman and my Aunt Nancy.
Breakdown for all who care:
MDF- $55
Steel Shelves - $150 (2 shelves made in to 4)
Paint/Plastic/Rollers- $20
Fabric- $3
Velcro- $18
Shelf brackets- $44
Plexi Glass for Chickadees counter -free
Apx total: $290
The room is now functional and everything can be used elsewhere if our needs change.
I can't wait to make the bulletin board, curtains, paint the tv dresser, and recover the chair and ottoman I found!
But I think I'll wait until I feel better...
Check out the Nestor's Party with my " It doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful button".
julie

Thursday, February 12, 2009

It Looks Like a Dried Out Green Bean!

No, no Farmer Girl that's a lovely, little earth worm. Now let's let Urban chick get to work!

Quite surprisingly Urban Chick was going nuts today waiting for Superman to come home so they could start her 1st dissection project. I heart Biology!

A bit grossed out at the prospect of using fingers instead of gloves. Notice the "protective eye wear". Splashes happen.


Getting down to serious business. She even has a secretary to take notes.


I don't think it looks like a green bean... What do you think?

Now that everyone has gotten bored, the "real" dissection can start. CSI? I think not. There's a big difference between an earth worm and a frog (that happens in a couple of weeks). But I'm glad she is so excited! I'm not sure I'm ready for the fetal pig....... Only 3 more earth worms, 4 more crayfish, 4 more frogs, 4 more pigs and 4 more nurse sharks to go! Anyone want to help?

Julie


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Happy Birthday Aunt Dot!



The whole reason for our Spur of the moment trip to Connecticut. My Great Aunt just turned 80! I can't wait for 90!

Alot of family from all over got together to celebrate. We saw so many new and old faces. Talked late into the nights and even learned a new game or two, hmmmm.


I was soooooooooo sick and returned home to a sick hubby and children. Note to self: don't let Superman kiss me before a big trip. But we still had fun in spite of my illness.





The chickadees 1st time seeing snow and making snow angels.Cooling off after a hot Florida winter!


We stayed with my cousin Mary and her wonderful family. They let 5 women and 2 little ladies take over their home for one long, but fun weekend. Thank you so much Mary and Nick!


I'm heading off to kill the rest of this cold....I never did get to take my whiskey, honey and lemon.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Stopping By

I'm just stopping by.... I have so much trivial and mundane stuff to share, but I just haven't had the time.
My real job has been super busy with a Surprise Trip out of state thrown in! So I've been feverishly knitting scarves and crocheting hats ( 1 goal down for the new year!).

I crocheted this hat.... not the scarf (target clearance)
I did crochet this hat and I knitted this scarf...

I've been doing a lot of sewing and school with the chickadees. We pretty much finished my Christmas/Birthday Room which I'm putting off sharing until I get back from the Great White North. Which incidentally we hear will be having a warm snap while we're there! Pray for SNOW!!

The other item I wanted to share is the Surprise Baskets for the little chickadees.

It's a tradition my Mother started when we were young. Depending on the age of the person you may write notes and/or give tiny gifts to open for the days you are gone. I did this for Superman when he had to travel for a week (very romantic, I know).

With Valentine's Day right around the corner. I was able to do really cute, girly stuff. Just Dollar Store activities that would give Superman a little break and take their minds off missing us.

Did I say missing us??? A girlfriend of mine said I should put them out early to increase their excitement. I was a bit leery of this, thinking they may dwell on the fact that "old mom" was leaving them. Boy! was I wrong. All I've heard since yesterday is, "when are you leaving" and "I can't wait until you leave!!!" Hmmmmmmm a little tooo eager I would say! :)

So everyone is happy and very busy. With my underlying tension over flying. It's been 19 years since I've jumped on a plane and headed for parts unknown. I have a husband and children now! I have etc, etc. What am I thinking? One of my chicks was concerned we would crash and die... Need I say more.

Another interesting little note: A couple of months ago I was talking with the Lord (just doing a craft and talking- nothing grandiose) and I was telling Him how glad I was not to have to travel anymore. That I never planned on flying again ( this was fear definitely talking) and that I was perfectly happy to take driving trips . Then Whamo! He sends the trip. Nothing like having to face your fears.

So keep me in your prayers! Prayer my daughters can pry my fingers off the boarding door and get me safely strapped in my seat!

Julie