Sunday, October 5, 2014

The Bible, books and old brains!

I am a lover of books. Not just any books... but books that will draw my heart closer to God. I love biographies and instructional books!  It's my one weakness, as Dorcas would say in Larkrise to Candleford.

Sweet Williams are still blooming
As much as I love godly books, I love God's Word a hundred gazillion times more! My heart swells when I think of the priceless value of His Word. His Word has changed my life! Period! End of story! It just has!

Every area of my life has been touched by His Word. My marriage, my emotions, my thought life, my desires and my goals.  But, far greater than what God has done in me is the treasure of learning more about Him through His written Word. There lies a joy that matches none else. 

Broccoli plants for winter
So I am excited to share with you one of the sweetest little treasures on the internet that is helping me hide God's Word in my heart. My long time beloved friends, Kim and her husband John, have a wonderful new website called REFRESHINGS CHALLENGE.
Refreshings are described as, "... a surprisingly simple and effective method to renew our minds and saturate our hearts with God's Word (and other related helpful things), using condensations from a repertoire of bible studies we've done, skills we've learned, and helpful things we've condensed from other people."

This is how I have used their website. I picked out specific teachings and Scriptures that I want to be reminded of on a regular basis. I've chosen posts that apply to my life or teachings that I can use to encourage others.  After I  printed these posts I placed them in sleeve protectors and filed them in my REFRESHINGS NOTEBOOK under a category similar to the headings she has on her webpage for each post. The notebook sits next to my living room chair so it's convenient to pick up and REFRESH myself daily.

Raspberries are still giving fruit in my backyard

I've added other sections to my binder such as The Godly Woman. I need daily reminders of what Scripture says I should be doing daily with my time.  I've also added Scriptures on the sovereignty of God to encourage me during trials and suffering. Another goal for the notebook is to use it to battle weaknesses and daily temptations. 

Learning, knowing, memorizing and teaching God's Word is one of my greatest joys. I want God's Word to take the highest priority in my life.  The REFRESHINGS CHALLENGE is one easy way to guard what I have learned in God's Word throughout the years. This old brain needs all the help it can get. 

Dragon Tales

I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you. Psalm 119:11 ESV

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God
. Colossians 3:16 ESV


A Typical Frugal Day 

Here's what is happenin' in my neck of the woods:

1. My husband's T-Shirts are noticeably worn. I've been watching for sales but nothing has come along. I stopped in our local thrift store while the oil was being changed in the car. Lo and behold, I found 5 T-Shirts, BRAND NEW for $4.99. I had a 25% off coupon bringing the total to $2.99 a shirt. Thank you, sweet Lord! 

Lettuce ready to harvest. Chicken wire to keep cats away from snail bait.

2. I normally throw away the stalks of broccoli but decided to peel it and then use a grater to shred it. I added a slaw dressing along with cranberries. I had enough to use for a lunch salad from an item that normally would be thrown away.

3. Did you know that Nature Made vitamins has a reward program? I may have told you before. I enter the reward code on each bottle I purchase of Triple Flex from Costco. I accumulated enough rewards to receive a $7 coupon to use at Costco for Nature Made products.  The coupon can also be matched with Costco's sales which could drop the price by a total of $14. 

4. I cashed in my Swagbucks for a $25 Amazon Gift Card. Click here to learn more about Swagbucks. It's an easy way to make money by doing online searches. 

5. I read about an idea to line your fridge shelves with placemats but decided to buy the plastic shelf paper that does not have a sticky back. My mother has always lined her fridge shelves with tinfoil but it's an expensive habit because eventually the tinfoil tears apart after multiple cleanings. This shelf paper (it's made of a rubber type of material) can be washed and should hold up indefinitely. My shelves look so nice and clean. 

Shelf paper lining fridge shelves

6. I'm saving cooked chicken bones in a freezer bag to make broth. 

7. I live in my aprons. I have a few nice aprons and a few 'not so nice' aprons. I rotate my aprons as they get stained and worn. I keep a very worn apron in the garage to wear in the garden. Aprons save my clothes from spots and tears. I love my aprons!

8. My house was built in the early 1900's and I think the kitchen grout is probably as old. Maybe not but it sure looks old and dirty. I've tried several cleaners but nothing has worked. I found a tile renewal product/sealer at Home Depot by Polyblend called, Grout Renew. It comes in different colors. It painted and sealed the ugly grout on my kitchen counters and it looks almost like new. So happy with it! It cost less than $15. I used a fine tipped paintbrush instead of the recommended toothbrush. 

9. My mom and neighbor lady save their newspapers for me. I've started using coupons again to help offset rising food prices. I visit Coupon Mom on Sundays to see if there are any good deals for the week. Last week I was able to get cold meds for .99 cents. 

10. I used the library instead of buying a book that had been recommended to me. 

Saved, Stretched & Re-used!
- banana peels (buried around my rose bushes)
- coffee grinds (buried around my rose bushes)
- tin can tops (put in a bucket with water to make a fertilizer tea for grapes and hydrangea)
- dog food can (washed out and used to pour grease into rather than down the sink).
- egg shells, fruit & veggie peelings (compost pile)
- tea bags (saved in fridge, 3 used for new cup of tea and then thrown in the compost pile)
- LC tortilla bag, cranberry bag, broccoli bag,etc. (washed and reused as a baggie)
- Rubber band off of radishes and broccoli (washed and reused)
- Hair from vacuum (compost) 

That's all for this time. What are you ladies doing in your homes? Are you getting ready for winter? I've started pulling out my blankets and heaters to make sure they're in good condition.

Blessed to be home,



  1. I just love these posts. :)
    I just started to set my coffee pot up at night so its easier to wake up in the morning. I have some roses in pots on the deck outside my door so I just put the coffee grounds in one--I have to transplant these this fall--so I think I'll mix the grounds iwth the dirt--I just put it on top of the soil for now- in the filter paper.

    I use cardboard box-trays that I got at Aldi on some shelves to keep thing in. Hubby & I each have our own shelf with a box/tray. Mine is at the top--because its less convenient--I gave Jeff the 2nd shelf so he can grab things fast because he needs to be in a hurry more than I do. His box is a peach box, mine is a blueberry box. They have the fruit pictures. :)

    I am collecting seeds lately-- a hobby. I have some dogwood seeds from one of our trees, We have some seeds from Hubby's super hot pepper plants. I plan to collect some crape myrtle seeds too--we have 3 of them I thought were our neighbors-- but turns out we had more land than I knew. :)
    I have some seeds I found under a pretty tree at Homedepot in the parking lot-- not a tree for sale-but one they have outside.

    I find seeds when walking and its fun to just stick in my pocket and put away later.

    I tried a new home made fabric softener recipe this week--I didn't think it was good because hubbys pants stuck to my undies in the dryer--so I'm not keen on it. I like the homemade detergents though.

    I do coupons too and also shop at an Aldi store to save money.

    My hubby likes to grill. We have something on the grill most weekends. Today I had 2 chickens I cut up myself. I got some cheap meat & veggie cleavers a while ago on amazon. They were $7 or $8 a piece but they are wonderful. I bout my son some for his birthday and he loved them so I got us some. They are chinese cleavers made with high carbon steel. They rust if you let the stay wet so I always rinse and wipe them every time I use them. A cleaver is great for cutting up meat. I bought whole chickens for 95 cents a pound. Cut up chicken is more than that. My cleaver is great for this job. I do save scrap and bones to make stock and some things go in my dog's food. I keep a container in my fridge for things that are scraped off plates or leftover and not god--that I use in dog food. My dogs also get dry dog food but they are used to a 'treat' mixed in.

    I sent some leftovers home with the kids who ate here today, but I have plenty left to feed me this week until hubby comes home again Wed. night. I'll have soup from this too, make stock etc.

    I already have my plate ready for tomorrow with plastic wrap on it.

    when my son in law comes here to fish he always brings some worms--when he leaves he puts the leftovers in one of my potted plants outside. He saw me doing that once so he has made it his habit.

    Usually my potted plants are perennials that are just in temporary housing. I grow them on there until they are big and then I put them in the ground and free up the pot to start something else.

    In summer most of the plants that really need attention stay on my deck. Makes it easier for me because it is super uncomfortable to be outside sometimes here.

    1. You're a busy lady, Mary! I enjoyed reading all that you are doing. I didn't know that Crape Myrtles were transplanted by seed. I have 6 Crape Myrtle trees. Three of them line the side of our house where the bedrooms are and they keep it cool on that side of the house. Two are in my front yard. They are a messy tree at certain times of the year but I love their colors.

    2. If you want them to be the same as the ones you have you need to use cuttings--since yours may be hybrids. I have no idea what kind mine are--and I'm not choosy--so seeds are fine. I like seeds cuz I can just tuck them away and don't have to immediately plant them.

    3. We try to buy heirloom seeds so we can save the seeds to plant the following year.

      I have been driving by this home with an unusual red flower. One day the owner was outside watering. I stopped to ask her what the name was of the flower and she gave me a bunch of seeds. I planted them and hope that they come up next year. They were so unusual. I have no idea what they are called because she didn't speak English so I couldn't ask her.

  2. Hi Georgene, nice to see another post from you. Your friend's blog on Refreshings Challenge sounds very interesting and I will have to pop by and take a look soon.

    I always love seeing what you are doing to save money. I too like to borrow library book. I also save old cans that I rinse out and then re-use by filling with grease from roasted foods. I once saw some photos on youtube of the hard sludge that accumulates in larger cities (probably small ones too) from people putting grease down the drains. Even if they run hot water afterwards, the oils are mixing with other garbage down in the pipes and sewer systems and creating huge impenetrable blocks that need some special work to breakdown. I also save and re-use the elastics from produce. The idea to use the broccoli stalks came to me some time ago before the stores started selling it in broccoli slaw mix. I just couldn't see the sense in throwing away so much of the broccoli and using only the tops. That seemed like such a huge waste. I now chop it up finely to add in stir fries and soups. I also like broccoli slaw but don't tent to make it that often.

    For winter I'm ready with my flannel sheets, infrared and regular heating pad & space heater. If it proves too draughty this year in my front room, I will put plastic sheeting in the lower half of my windows only. I find this is enough to keep the warm indoors and still enable me to open and close my patio doors and go outside when desired. One final thing I do is close off the vents because sometimes such cold air blasts through there even in winter. Part of living in a large condo.

    1. Hi,
      Do you put the plastic sheeting on the inside or outside of the windows? We have zero insulation so hubby said it wouldn't help to cover the windows. They are newer, double paned windows so that helps. I cover both of our window air conditioners. You are such a busy lady!

    2. Hi Georgene, I put the plastic sheeting on the inside of the windows. I know I have insulation in my home but it is very draugfty at the bottom of the windows where it should be sealed. When we had exterior walls replaced years ago they deliberately left space that would traditionally be sealed. I find it rather cold now and so I'm basically preventing the draught from coming in at the base of the windows. I have double paned windows too and I've noticed they can be quite a bit colder in a very cold winter and especially with metal blinds. One year when it was really cold I found the plastic sheeting to be a real God-send. You might want to give it a try just to experiment since the plastic can usually be purchased very cheaply even at the dollar store and I reuse :-)

  3. I guess I forgot to answer the question of what I did this week to save money :-)

    I borrowed some library books.

    I purchased a good supply of meat (chicken, ground beef, steaks) on sale and it really helping with the food budget this month.

    I purchased a lot of paper supplies at the pharmacy and was able to accumulate a lot of coupons which I will use on a big shop in future when I need coffee, paper supplies and cleaning supplies.

    I bought a few newer tops & tights this week. I was able to use a $15 off coupon that I accumulated from shopping earlier sales. Unfortunately I missed out on several hundred dollars worth of coupons that expired earlier than I thought. But that is okay because I would have had to spend a certain amount to get to use those coupons. The $15. didn't have any conditions about how much to spend but expires in December. It came in handy now for my cool weather clothing needs and since it wasn't a lot of money it really encouraged me to shop more wisely and only buy things I will really use.

    Lastly, in the recycle category, I cleaned out a few more things from my closet which I haven't worn in years and don't fit so well. I took them to church with me and gave them to a friend who I know will use them.

    It was a good week :-) God bless.

    1. What kind of paper supplies do they sell at the pharmacy? I feel the same way you do about not using a coupon just because it's a good deal... especially if I'm having a tight week. We sure need the Lord's wisdom in these matters, don't we?

      You had a good week! I'm happy for you! :-)

    2. When I buy paper supplies at the pharmacy it is usually toilet paper, paper towels and sometimes tissue paper (kleenix). I stock up on these when they are a good price especially now that the prices have gone sky high. For other paper products like books, stationary and envelopes I prefer to buy them at the dollar store where they are much cheaper and usually nicer too.

      You are sure right about needing the Lord's wisdom in these matters. I am learning to turn to him more and more as prices go higher and higher.

      Have a wonderful week ahead :-)

  4. Your posts are always inspiring as to how to live inexpensively, but today you had an inspiring blog to visit as well. I've already got the page up and it looks very good and uplifting. Thank you.

    Have a great week ~ FlowerLady

    1. I hope you enjoyed your visit at my friend's blog and will visit regularly. I've learned so much from her over the years.

  5. Just love how you have a refreshings binder from the blog of Kim and John.

    You are so industrious!


  6. Love the idea of a refreshing binder. As to winter, I've been getting ready too. Got the winter tires put on the car, purchased some good used flannel sheets from the thrift store and have put the summer clothes away.

    1. I love flannel sheets. It sounds like you are ready for winter. I have a bit more work to do but we are still having days in the 90's. :-)

  7. Hi Georgene, It was nice to see your comment. I guess I thought you had stopped blogging. Nice to read this post. I had never thought of putting liners in the frig. Good idea.

    1. Hi Podso,
      I really did think I was going to stop blogging but realized after I took a break that I didn't like feeling like I HAD to blog every week. Once I took off that 'rule' then I began to enjoy posting again. :-) Thanks for stopping by.

  8. Found your site for the first time last night. Love the info and comments!!! I live on a littlle over $700 a month so I am always looking for frugal ideas. I will say God is good!! Everytime I need something, He provides. It never ceases to amaze me!!

    1. Boy! I wish YOU had a blog to teach me how to live on $700 a month! :-)

    2. I pay my tithe first and let God show me the way. I have $60 a month left for meds, gas, nonfood items, insurance, emergencies. He always provides.
      When my children were young, there was 5 of us, I had $10 a wk to buy groceries, food and nonfood. God provided. We might not have had our wants but we had our needs. Rosa from S.C.

  9. Found your site on The Prudent Homemaker. Such helpful information -I love my aprons too. I used to just wear my an old shirt when I cooked but I have become used to wear an apron. It helps to have them on a hook in the kitchen nearby so I will remember! Have a great day!

    1. Have you seen the aprons that are made out of men's shirts? They are so cute. I've wanted to try making one.

  10. From your comments, I gather you are on a anti-inflamation diet. Does it help and what kind is it? I ask because I have RA, fibro, osteoarthritis, degenerative hip,hand and knee arthritis. I would like to see if diet helps pain. Thanks..Rosa from S.Carolina

    1. Hi Rosa,
      Yes, the anti-inflammation diet has helped reduce my joint pain considerably. I had an Alcat test done so I could find out exactly what food intolerances I was dealing with. I've known for over 10 years that I couldn't eat ice cream because my knee would start hurting and increase in pain until I could hardly walk. I wasn't quite smart enough to realize that any kind of dairy was causing joint pain. I just thought I was getting old. :-) I'd be happy to chat with you more and share what I'm learning if you'd like to email me. I think you can find my email through my profile. Let me know if you can't find it.

  11. Couldn't find your email address. Rosa from S.C.

  12. Thanks so much for the tip about Grout Renew. The peach grout we thought was so attractive in our upstairs bathroom when we tiled it many years ago has faded to pink (eck). Can't wait to try this.

  13. I am amazed at how much you accomplish! My mind is always raring to go but my body does not always want to follow! A lot on my plate the last few months, so time to slow down, spend some time with the Lord, and listen only to Him in all matters. I have heard that the white Listerine will clean grout, but I have never tried it. It is cooling off here in North Florida. We were in the 40's last night. I did not feel cold this morning so did not turn on the heat. Our power bill has gone up quite a bit, so putting off turning on the heat as long as possible. Trying not to go to the store too often. I spend less money that way, and we eat what's in the fridge and pantry.

    1. Rachel,
      It's kind of scarey thinking that Listerine will clean grout! I wonder what it will do to your teeth. :-)

      The grout renewal I used has worked great.

      How wonderful you are slowly down and listening to the Lord. We need those times, don't we?

      Remember that all the things I posted were not done in one week. I gather tasks I do over 2 or 3 weeks. :-)

  14. I'm going to check out that web site. I also want to go to work and print out Laine's letters while they are available once more.

    Thank you for sharing your frugal stuff. #2 is a great reminder...I used to make a broccoli slaw and I've forgotten all about that. It's going on my just started today "salads that don't use lettuce" list. #3 is NEW to me. Thank you! We use several supplement routinely and I'd be most happy to get a refund on all the money I spend.


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