Monday, December 21, 2015

A Month in Pictures

Hello and Merry Christ-mas!

The beginning of the month started off like a whirlwind and I felt like I was being swept down the current of Christmas insanity. I just didn't know quite how to unleash myself from all the busyness. So, I prayed and asked the Lord to rearrange my schedule and slow things down... and HE DID! I was SO thankful He did because I had lost my joy for the season. Now, I'm actually looking forward to Christmas, family and celebrating the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ.

I've been working on a post for nearly a month. Yep, a month! It's not going to be finished before Christmas so I decided to post a few pictures of our month, instead!  It's been a very full month with grandchildren's school performances and two birthdays (and another one after Christmas) and just life in general.

Here are just a few delights:


A Christ honoring Carolfest with our older grandson singing at a state college, no less! PTL! My grandson is in the middle of the back row. I think he is the tallest one. We attended another grandson's band concert but I wasn't able to get a good picture of his performance.

A fun day baking with my daughter!

 A few of the grands spent the night and made gingerbread houses!

One of the highlights of the month is 
studying God's Word in a warm bed. 

Miss Sassy loves our devotional time, too! 

It's hard to believe that 2015 is nearly gone. It's been a good year that has been FULL of wonderful times and memories.

Merry Christ-mas from our home to yours! May your celebration be filled with the knowledge of God's great love for you that is found in Christ Jesus the Lord!

“An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord'” (Luke 2:9-11)

Until next year! (Lord willing!)



The idea for this post came from Coffee Tea Books and Me posts called, My World this Week!
 Thanks, Brenda!!!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

A Titus 2 Woman

I was blessed to have a Titus Two woman visit this summer... my mother in love! I had the best time with her. We visited thrift stores, knitted dish cloths, talked about relationships, shared Scriptures and baked like it was no one's business! I honestly hated to see her leave.

Mother Stump making a pie!

My mother in love has lived eighty plus years on this earth. That is a whole lot of living and learning in God's classroom. She has gone through prosperous times and lived through times of less. We had a lot of conversations around the kitchen table about how she lived through those lean days. There has been joy and sorrow all woven together on her journey called 'life'. I learned so much by just asking questions.

A mother sharing with her son
There is a wealth of knowledge and wisdom stored up in a godly, older woman. We don't always value what they have learned through the years or we pridefully think our way is better. I've been guilty of both. But, if we can observe their lives (the good and even their mistakes) through the lens of scripture then we will find ourselves richer for taking the time to learn.

Mother Stump knitting dishcloths

 I've finally reached that season of life where I know that I don't have all the answers. These older seasons of life are challenging.  How thankful I am to know godly women I can go to for counsel. God has instructed the older women to teach the younger women specific things. Heavenly Father, help me to be a willing student.

My mother in love bought a similar potholder and taught me how to make this one. 

A Titus Two woman is a gift from God to each of us! They have a story of God's redemption to tell of a life lived in the midst of His grace. How very sad  if we leave this beautiful gift unwrapped.

My mother in love taught me how to knit dishcloths.

are to be reverent in their behavior,
not malicious gossips
nor enslaved to much wine,
teaching what is good 
they may 
ENCOURAGE the young women
to love their husbands,
to love their children,
to be sensible,
workers at home,
being subject to their own husbands,
 the word of God will 
not be dishonored.

Titus 2:3-5 NASB 
(emphasis is mine)


A few highlights from this past month:

1. I've started picking up some baking items when they are on sale for the holiday season. It's too hard on the budget to buy them all at once. I froze a bag of coconut and purchased an extra bag of brown sugar. I'll use them to make some goodie baskets.

2. I live in aprons at home so they are VERY used looking. I made one new apron before my company came this summer and just made another one a few weeks ago. 

3. I've been making my own laundry detergent for years. I've noticed that it has a different scent lately that I don't care for. It smells like metal. It might be that our city water just doesn't mesh well with the ingredients I use. I don't want to add another large expensive to my budget so instead of purchasing laundry detergent I bought an inexpensive laundry booster. It cost around $6. I used half in this last batch of detergent and it has taken away the metal smell. I haven't priced all the ingredients for a long time but it used to cost a few cents a load of wash. I can't imagine the $3 will add much to the total cost.

4. We have had some cold wintry days so I'm not always able to hang clothes on the line. I pulled out my drying rack and set it up in the garage. I have clothes lines hanging in my garage already. I've started drying clothes inside the garage on those cold days. Not using my dryer saves me quite a bit on my electric bill. My bill can jump by $30 if I start using my dryer too much. I've more than paid for the drying racks I purchased many years ago. 

Mother Stump loves bread!

5. Normally I print out a new budget from my computer each month. My ink cartridge is expensive to replace. So, this month I put the budget inside a sheet protector and used an erasable marker. I put a mark next to the item I paid. It worked perfectly. Now, I just erase it and it's ready to use next month. I put a blank piece of paper over the top sheet of the clipboard, just in case something would hit it and erase my markings. This will stretch my ink a bit longer. I also try to write new recipes by hand instead of printing them.

6. I purchased a nightstand from a local thrift store for $7. A can of spray paint fixed the imperfections. It fits perfectly and gives me another 2 drawers for storage (which is priceless in a small home!). It looked so nice that I decided to spray a stepping stool a long time friend's husband made. I had a can of red spray paint which worked perfectly. THEN, I sprayed a small tray I use to hold a few items in the loo. Spray paint is much cheaper than paint and it looks just as nice, not to mention it takes a fraction of the time to apply. 

7. A few of the grands spent the night this weekend. We played a game that I purchased from the thrift store for less than $3. They loved the game and so did I. Sometimes the thrift store marks their games down to 20 cents. Wouldn't it be a great idea to start now and purchase games for Christmas gifts? 

8. I was looking for a Bible object lesson to share with the grands when they spent the night. My dear friend shared a few options on YouTube. They LOVED the object lesson and we kept practicing the gospel using the hand to signify each aspect. I'll give you the link in case you'd like to share it with your own family. Be sure to check out my friend's blog at Givengrace.

This is the object lesson to let them see what the Gospel is like:

Bible Object Lesson

...and this one is the memorization tool to teach the gospel using your hand:

9. Here is the recipe for the Butterscotch Pie that my mother in love taught me how to make. The process is very similar to a chocolate pie recipe I've made for years. This is a RICH pie but very wonderful! 

Butterscotch Pie

Stir together in a medium bowl:
3 Tbsp. cornstarch
1 cup brown sugar

Slowly stir in 2 cups of scalded milk to the above mixture. (you can microwave the milk for 5 minutes to scald it)

Microwave 4 minutes until thick around the edges. Stir. Take a few tablespoons of the milk mixture and whisk into 4 egg yolks. Then add the egg mixture into the milk mixture and whisk. Then microwave another 3 1/2 minutes. Whisk in 4 tbsp. of butter and 1 tsp. of vanilla. You want it to thicken.

Melt 1/3 cup of white sugar in a skillet (we used a cast iron). Pour in 1/4 cup of water all at once. BE CAREFUL NOT TO BURN YOURSELF FROM THE STEAM. Pour into previous milk mixture above and whisk together.

Pour into baked pie crust and make meringue by beating the leftover egg whites until stiff. Add 3 tablespoons of powdered sugar to the eggs and beat until a meringue consistency. Brown the meringue in a 350 oven.  Enjoy!

10. My grandson helped plant garlic in my garden. It was a huge help and fun to share a part of my life with him. I shared the different lessons God teaches me from His Word as I'm digging in the dirt. Our winter garden is going to be comparatively small this year due to 'old agedness'. I'm feeling quite whimpy these days! :-) I have 9 broccoli, a bed and a half of garlic and a bed of onions planted. I will be content and I trust it will be just enough. 

...and as your days, so shall your strength be.  Deuteronomy 33:25

Saved, Repurposed and Reused:

- I've been saving, washing and reusing plastic bags, tinfoil and baggies. They came in handy for this '5 week pay period' because I didn't need to run to the store for baggies but instead used the ones I had on hand. 
- SF Popsicle sticks to be used as markers for seedlings. 
- Glass jars (I pour my grease in them instead of down the sink).
- Unused envelopes in bills (to store seeds)
- Newspapers (under cat box, mulching in the garden, bottom of garbage can)
- Egg cartons (I store the larger box of eggs in the fridge outside and use a smaller carton for the inside fridge).  
- Old knit shirt (cut up for dust rags)
- Old hand towel (dust rag)

*~*~*~    It would be so encouraging to hear about an older, 
                          godly woman in YOUR life!                          *~*~*~*

Blessed to be home!



Sunday, August 30, 2015

Daily Grace

Whew! I do believe this was one of the busiest summers that I can remember!  It was overflowing with wonderfulness, packed full of uncertainty, exhausting and above all... BLESSED! But, in the midst of all the hustle and bustle, there was this solid assurance that God was in the smallest and biggest of all the details!

We had extended and wonderful visits from our daughter in love and grands throughout the summer and my in laws were here for 10 days.   A family member had surgery and another family member had several serious falls.  I struggled with new physical limitations but time and time again I saw that God's grace was sufficient! I lived and breathed and experienced the truthfulness of His Word that promises His grace is made perfect in our weakness!

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.   2 Corinthians 12:9  ESV

The vegetable garden suffered... the house was far from spotless... my laundry fell behind... and my devotional time was, to say the least,  inconsistent! But, I depended on Jesus more in the daily serving of my loved ones which resulted in experiencing more of the depth of His faithfulness... and for that.... I am so grateful!

Knowing where to go for my strength makes all the difference in how I get through these busy seasons. Boy, do I accomplish this imperfectly! I'm so thankful to know that Jesus love is filled with patience!

New bible study in 1, 2 & 3rd John by Kelly Minter
So, what is happening in your homes? I've missed hearing what you are learning and how God is teaching you through it all.

We squeezed in a trip to the bay with the kids and their families.


A Typical Frugal Day

Here are just a few of the highlights this summer...

1. I planted zucchini from seed but I also bought a few plants from the store weeks later. I ended up drying enough zucchini to fill 9 quart jars to use in soup this winter. I kicked myself last winter when the price for zucchini went up to nearly $2 a pound.  I froze some shredded zucchini to use in muffins this winter for gifts. Here is a new recipe I made for my mother. She really seemed to enjoy it:

Zucchini Cornbread Casserole

2. Last summer I washed my car every Saturday like clock work. This summer I've been rethinking my weekly chores due to the drought, lots of company and some health issues. I found that I can stretch washing my car to the second week if I cover the front of my small truck with a huge piece of polyester material.  Some day I might buy a truck cover but for now the polyester will do. One of the advantages of living in an older neighborhood is that no one cares what I drape over my truck. It really IS an advantage at times. *WINK* I'm also stretching my lawn mowing to every other week. I not only save my strength for other duties but it also stretches the fuel along with the wear and tear on the lawn mower.

Homemade GIANT bubbles. Can you see it wrap around her?

3. I made Julia Child's Boeuf Bourguignon for my birthday meal. It was fabulous! I waited until I found a chuck roast on sale for $3.99 a pound. My love for cooking is always rejuvenated when I can find a fun, new recipe to try that both my husband and I love!  It was time consuming but heavenly! Happy birthday to ME!

4. I bought 3 small, glass saucers at the thrift store. I'm using them on my bowls instead of Seran wrap. This way I can see what is in the dish which results in less food being wasted. It will stretch the Seran wrap just a bit more, too!

5.I started volunteering at a food pantry this summer! It is such a blessing to see how God provides for those in need! The people I work with are wonderful and they always make sure to send home extra food. God used their blessings to help us stretch our grocery budget this summer when we had extra company.  He is so amazing! Jehovah Roi... the God who sees!

Sweet Williams, Four O'Clocks and 'Snow on the Mountain'

6. The summer vegetable garden has nearly come to an end. We are finishing up the last of the corn. I still have eggplant, green beans, a few zucchini and tomatoes. The grands helped me plant some seeds to start our winter crop. I love a winter garden because it requires so much less work! I've started laying newspaper down with lawn clippings on top to cover the empty plots. This will help enrich the soil over the winter and keep down on the weeds.

My granddaughter helping me plant seeds for the winter garden.

7.  I've shared many times how I use the 'Envelope Method' for many of our monthly and yearly larger expenses. I have 'envelopes' for my hair appointments, yearly DMV registration, oil changes, birthday gifts, dental co pays and larger electric bills in the winter. An envelope can be tangible or an envelope you make in your checking account where you 'hide' the money under a certain category. Recently, I was so thankful that I had an 'Envelope' for  household expenses because our plumbing backed up and it cost $500 to repair. Thankfully I was able to pay cash.

8. Eggs have doubled in price so I'm getting by with 1/3 less than last month. I rarely scramble them now since that uses more eggs so instead I fry them. I'm not baking as many low carb treats with coconut flour so that cuts down on the amount I'm using,too. I need to find more low carb ideas for breakfast that my husband will eat so I can cut back even more!

9. My daughter in love taught me how to make Bierocks while she was visting. I would have loved this recipe when my children were home because it's very inexpensive to make.

This is the dough recipe she used.  Quick and Easy Dinner Rolls

Make the dough as directed and let it rise. Then roll the dough out to approximately 1/4 inch thick and then cut the dough into squares (4x4 inches) with a pizza dough cutter.

Fry hamburger and shredded cabbage until done. You could add garlic and onions if you'd like. Season with garlic powder, Worcestershire and black pepper. Put a tablespoon or so in your dough square and then fold up corners and bake at 350 for 25 minutes until brown.

 I did a search and came up with quite a few variations. Very economical. It was fun cooking with my girl!

My daughter in love teaching me how to make Bierocks!

10. I have an old grape bush in the backyard. I have a hard time giving them away because they have seeds so this year I decided to dry them for raisins. I cut them in half and took out the seeds and placed them on parchment paper in my food dehydrator. They made AWESOME raisins! It wasn't as labor intensive as you would imagine. I cut them up one night and then put the bowl in the fridge. The next morning I would dry them.  I was so glad that they didn't go to waste. I stored them in a mason jar in the freezer.

My daughter in love captured this picture while visiting

Saved, Reused and Repurposed:
- Coffee grounds for Azaelas.
- Banana peels for roses.
- Rubber bands from asparagus, newspaper,radishes (washed and saved).
- Newspaper (used under cat box, clean windows, garden mulch, painting.
- Dirt and hair from vacuum (compost).
- Cardboard boxes from Costco:  (flattened and laid on dirt between the berries and neighbors fence to kill weeds coming from their yard).
- Birthday card (cut up and used as a bookmark).
- Cotton from a vitamin jar (I put it in a bag and use to take off fingernail polish).
- Bacon grease (to sautee fresh green beans).
- Popsicle sticks (I'll write the name of the vegetable on the stick and use it as a marker in seed pots).

I hope you are all doing well!

Blessed to be home!


Monday, June 8, 2015

The drought and saving money!

It's no secret that California is in a drought. Everyone and their neighbor seem to have an opinion on how to solve the crisis. Most are not happy about the solutions given by our city and governor. But, I believe God's Word has the final say and it's very clear that God controls the rain. So, prayer becomes a top priority for those who acknowledge His power over His creation. I love seeing signs in front yards that say, 'Pray for Rain'. 

I've been conserving water ever since we moved into our home over 3 years ago. The drought was not as serious as it is now.  Lately, I've started researching more ways to cut back since we may have to cut our usage by 25% in the coming years.

My Trumpet Vine taketh overeth! :-)

 Here are a few things I do in my home to save and reuse water:

~ I put a large, plastic measuring cup under the faucet while I'm waiting for hot water to reach the house.  I usually get 16 cups of cold water which I dump into a bucket outside my door. The water is used to water the herbs on the patio table or to replenish the animal watering dishes.
~ I save the day old water from the cat and dog water bowls to water the plants.
~ I use steamed vegetable water to throw on my plants. I just make sure to not throw it close to the back door in case it draws flies.
~ Short showers.
~ Hot tub instead of a shower if we just need a light bath. 
~ I use the water from my laundry loads to water my flowers.
~ Leaves are kept in my flower beds to hold moisture in the soil.
~ I don't have automatic sprinklers so I use a kitchen timer to lessen the chance of a sprinkler running too long.
~ I only use 2 buckets of water to wash our truck. One bucket is for the soapy water and the other bucket is clean water to wash off the soap. This morning I used the 'start up' water from the kitchen faucet to rinse my truck.
~ I used to save the shower water to flush the toilet but lifting the buckets started playing havoc with my neck. But, this is another idea for those with a strong back and neck.

Strawberries are doing great this year!


Last week I brought home a chocolate mint herb to dry for tea.  I was in a hurry to put away my groceries so I didn't check the soil to see if it was damp.  The next morning it was completely wilted. I honestly thought it didn't have a chance of survival but I watered it and hoped for the best. The next morning I was amazed to see that the water had revived it back to life.

I looked at that revived herb and instantly thought to myself, "Lord, that little wilted plant is how I feel  without Your Word. I have no strength to withstand the daily pressures of this life without your living Word daily sustaining me."

My hydrangea by the front door is blooming!

 I recently was struggling with a sin issue in my heart. I kept praying and asking the Lord to guide me through His Word. This morning a Scripture came to mind as I was working in the kitchen and SUDDENLY I had the answer I had been praying for.  He had spoken to me directly through His Word and I instantly had peace... perfect peace! 

 He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers. Psalm 1:3 ESV

O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.  Psalm 63:1 ESV

He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters.  Psalm 23:2  ESV

My daughter by love and my grandchildren are here for a visit


A Typical Frugal Day

Here are a few things I've been doing in my home this past month.

1.  I had a large pitcher of ice tea leftover from a family gathering so instead of throwing it out I used it for hubby's morning hot tea. I normally use Earl Grey tea, which is pricey, so this practice helped stretch those tea bags. I save the tea bags in a small container in the fridge and use 3 recently used tea bags for one more cup.Waste not, want not! *smile*

2.  The winter onions were harvested this month. I froze 3 large bags of chopped onions but then decided to dehydrate the rest to save freezer space. A dear friend let me borrow her dehydrator which did a great job. I stored the onions in canning jars. The zucchini is starting to produce and we're not eating it fast enough so I started drying it, too. Last winter I used the dried veggies in my soups. You could also use them in casseroles, meatloaf, smoothies,muffins or chili.  It makes me twitch (smile) to buy zucchini in the winter at nearly $2 a pound when it's coming out my ears in the summer. This way I can purchase very little zucchini during the winter. I'm also trying my hand at drying herbs. The cilantro always bolts too fast before the tomatoes are ready. I'm hoping that dried cilantro will taste fine in homemade salsa. I'm drying basil and plan on drying some oregano soon.
Onions on left and boysenberries on right!

3. I used the last bit of toilet paper on the roll to wipe down my bathroom sink/toilet instead of throwing it away. I use a vinegar and water mixture in a spray bottle to clean my sink and toilet and then wipe down with the extra toilet paper. I used to throw the last bit of toilet paper away. Not any more. :-)

4. My small little backyard garden has produced enough berries to fill 15 pies so far or jam. Don't ever underestimate the size of a small city lot to stretch your grocery budget. There is a wonderful feeling of independence and joy when I can walk out my back door and pick my own food.  I plan on tearing out a few more flowers and replacing them with vegetable plants next year.  I'll move the flowers to the other side of the house that I only water once a week. It's very shady on that side of the house. It's their last chance for survival depending on how hardy they are. I call it my 'Last Chance Garden'.
"Last Chance Flower Garden ' on the side of the house

5. This year I decided to pick up 1 or 2 veggie plants each time I went to Walmart. We normally grow our veggies by seeds but we've had a hard time keeping up this year. This really helped to fill in some extra places in my garden with butternut squash, eggplant and a few cooking herbs.

6. I painted my spare bedroom. I was tempted to buy a new curtain rod since the older one didn't match. Instead, I checked the garage to see if I had any cans of spray paint and chose a color that blended with the curtains. It turned out so nice and looks brand new.

7. I've been spending too much on snack foods... healthy snack foods.. but it still increases my budget. I decided to buy more veggies and have them ready for snacks. It's less expensive per pound and is healthier.

8. I bought a Comfrey plant off  Ebay a few years ago. It's really grown big. I cut enough leaves to fill a large bucket, weighted them down with a brick and filled it with water and covered. It takes 4- 6 weeks to make a 'Comfrey tea' which I'll use on my tomatoes. Comfrey is high in nitrogen and it's cheaper than buying store fertilizers.

One view of my backyard vegetable garden.

9. This month I harvested leeks, onions, garlic, Swiss chard, radishes, lettuce, strawberries, raspberries, boysenberries, zucchini, yellow squash, cabbage, peppers, artichokes, cilantro and basil from my little  backyard garden. Grapes, cantaloupe, watermelon, okra, green beans, tomatoes, cucumbers, spaghetti squash, butternut squash and eggplant are in the ground and thriving. Asparagus is sprouting spears but it won't be big enough to eat until next year. I love my garden.

10. I'm always looking for ways to save time in the kitchen...especially during the summer months when I'm so busy in the yard. I like to make extra coffee, sunflower seed flour muffins, frittata, large amounts of hamburger cooked/frozen, and  meatloaf recipes. Doubling my recipes helps me always have a quick meal on hand.

My daughter and I and mama at a Soroptomist Tea.

11. I've been digging up small little pebbles in my garden. I throw them in a coffee can.  Why? I thought you'd want to know! :-) I'll use them to put in the bottom of my pots for good drainage. They are free for the taking as long as I put out the time to gather them.This will save money in the long run.

12. My sister shared a useful idea she read in a magazine. I purchased a plastic colander and hung it by the outdoor faucet to clean off the veggies before I bring them into the home. I sit on my gardener's bench (like the one below) while I'm washing and cleaning the veggies. I love this bench! It sure saves my back when I'm pulling weeds because I'm not bending at the waste.Great idea, Sis!

~ Radish, asparagus and broccoli rubber bands saved, washed and reused.
~ Egg shells crushed and thrown in compost along with veggie and fruit peels. 
~ Plastic mushroom container washed and re used for a drawer organizer. 
~ Bills I receive in the mail often have an extra envelope which I don't use since I pay my bills online. I use the envelope to store seeds from my flowers and vegetables. We buy Heirloom seeds for that purpose. 
~ Small paper bag from pharmacy ( I save paper bags to ripen fruit or to store seeds).
~ Paper egg cartons, shredded toilet paper rolls are put in compost pile. 
~ Coffee grinds: I buried them around the azaleas and hydrangea. 

How is everyone summer going? Are you gardening? Canning?  Do you have some projects you hope to finish this summer? I always love learning from you gals!

Blessed to be home,



Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Learning to Enjoy Life at 57

There was a time, as a new bride, that 'enjoying life' was very high on my priority list. In fact, it was such a high priority that my dishes were often left undone, beds were not made and a lot of my homemaking necessities were set aside in pursuit of fun. My life was lived for what I thought would bring ME happiness.

Celebrating 31 years of marriage

The irony of my self-focus was that it did NOT bring happiness. It oftentimes caused conflict and strife in my marriage because my husband's needs were not met. Or I would be embarrassed if someone showed up unannounced and then fret and stew over what they may have thought of my unkept home. Living for my own pleasure was a sure fire plan for misery, no matter what the enemy tried to tell me.

My priorities changed over the years. The decision to homeschool and run a home-based business forced some major changes in my daily schedule.  Taking better care of my responsibilities became important because I learned that I could bring glory to God in my daily work.

So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31 ESV 

Easter egg hunt
This was a good thing... a work of God in my life... but somewhere along the way the pendulum swung the opposite direction and I lost finding joy in my days. I also found I resented my workload at times. I have sensed for a time that I needed to make some changes.

More Easter eggs

I decided to go on a treasure hunt each day to find God's gifts! A treasure hunt for joy but not at the neglect of my responsibilities. The first change I've made is taking a little break in the afternoons.  I close my bedroom drapes, snuggle deep under my bed covers, turn on my heating pad and grab my newest Christian novel. Yep, a novel! Not a book on counseling, or theology or anything instructional. An easy to read Christian novel about life in a small town with some quirky characters.  This special time gives me something to look forward to each day. I can't tell you what a great pocket of joy this has brought into my life. I am learning to enjoy life again at 57. Imagine that!

It's such a luxury and I thank God for every single minute of it.

There is nothing better for a person than that he should eat and drink and find enjoyment in his toil. This also, I saw, is from the hand of God, for apart from him who can eat or who can have enjoyment? Ecclesiastes 2:24-25 ESV

Monthly Sewing Bee at my house

Do you have something you look forward to each day? Does it cause your heart to be lifted to God in thankfulness? I'd love to hear what it is! (Don't you think that even a busy mother with a houseful of children or a working mother can look for pockets of joy in her daily life? )


A Typical Frugal Day! 
(Click on this link for more frugal ideas)

Here are a few things I've been working on this month:

1.  The summer months are here which means I'm back to my schedule of washing our little truck once a week. California is in a drought so I try to conserve water by using 2 buckets... one to wash and one to rinse. We get fined if the water runs into the street for longer than 5 minutes so I must be careful. I bought a large bottle of car washing liquid at Walmart YEARS ago. I use one capful per bucket and it puts a nice shine on my truck. I have saved a fortune by washing my own vehicles over the years. I keep a little whisk broom in the back seat to brush out crumbs on the floor. I found 2 cloth pouches with flaps at the dollar store. I keep them in the side compartment of the door for trash. 

A fun day with the family at Farrell's Ice Cream Parlor

2. I bought a new pair of shoes last month. I saved the sturdy box, cut off the top and used it as a drawer divider. I keep a larger box in the garage to store small boxes until I find a use for them.

3. I'm finding more ways to COOK ONCE, EAT TWICE or more. We eat tacos once a week at my husband's request. So, I've decided to fry up 4 pounds of hamburger all at once to freeze instead of doing it once a week. It saves time, water and dish soap (only washing one frying pan). I'm looking for more and more ways to make life a bit easier around here as we grow older.

4. I was given some body spray as a gift. I love the fragrance but I don't use body sprays so I'm using the spray as a room freshener in the bathroom. It seems there is always an alternative way to use an unused item. 

Silly grandson! He loves to make people laugh!

5. I continue to buy one package of white socks for my husband out of each paycheck so that someday I will have a full load of 'whites' which will save water and money in the long run.

6. I made one large batch of Atkins Meatloaf and divided it into 4 meals for the freezer. This is one of my 'fast food' meals when I'm too busy to cook.

7.  I own 2 independent cats and one needy dog. I TRY to brush them daily to keep the hair loss down. But, their hair still can be a nuisance.  I keep a box of old sheets, curtains and thin blankets in the garage. I use these to cover their pet beds and any place they sleep. I change the coverings once a week. I shake them out on the lawn before I wash them and then run an extra rinse cycle with vinegar to clean my washing machine. The smaller and thinner material is easier to wash than the entire bedspread or the fee to have my furniture cleaned. Plus, it helps keep fleas under control by regularly washing their bedding. 

My grandson reading Resurrection Egg scriptures

8.   I made this recipe a few weeks ago. My husband thought it was Fried Rice (and I didn't correct him) and loved it. Honestly, I couldn't tell the difference, either. Much healthier than the original recipe with all the carbs.

Cauliflower Fried 'Rice'

2 cups frozen peas
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup sesame oil, divided
4 cups cubed pork loin
6 green onions, sliced
1 large carrot, cubed
2 cloves garlic, minced
20 ounces shredded cauliflower
6 tablespoons soy sauce
2 eggs, beaten
1. Stir peas and water together in a saucepan; bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook and stir until peas are tender and heated through, about 5 minutes. Drain and discard water.
2. Heat 2 tablespoons sesame oil in a wok over medium-high heat. Cook and stir pork in hot oil until lightly browned on all sides and cooked through, 7 to 10 minutes. Transfer meat to a plate.
3. Heat remaining 2 tablespoons sesame oil the wok. Saute green onions, carrot, and garlic in hot oil until just softened, about 5 minutes. Add cauliflower; cook and stir until cauliflower had a tender but firm to the bite, 4 to 5 minutes.
4. Stir pork and soy sauce into cauliflower mixture and stir-fry until mixture is hot and slightly browned, 3 to 5 minutes.
5. Move pork-cauliflower mixture to one side of the wok; pour beaten eggs onto empty side. Scramble eggs until cooked through, 3 to 5 minutes; stir cooked eggs into the pork-cauliflower mixture, breaking up any large chunks.

Swiss Chard survived the winter
9. I used 4 Altoid containers to prop up my computer to let the air flow underneath so it wouldn't overheat. 

10. I've made some large meat purchases because the price was rock bottom low.  Hams went on sale for .99 cents a pound during Easter so I bought 2 of them to freeze for company. Spareribs went on sale for $1.29 a pound so I purchased 2 large slabs and then cut them into smaller portions to freeze. I try to buy meat at it's lowest price and stock up. I also use the ham for lunch meat which is so much cheaper than packaged lunch meat. My freezer is full! Praise God!

Saved, Stretched and Repurposed

~ Bacon grease (I put it in a jar in the fridge and use for flavor when sauteeing vegetables)
~ Envelopes (store seeds)
~ Egg cartons,cardboard kind (compost)
~ Vegetable and fruit peels, egg shells (compost)
~  Rubber bands from radishes (washed and reused)
~ Vegetable bags from grocery store
~ Coffee grounds (fertilizer for roses)
~ Water added to last bit of shampoo
~ Leftover ice tea used for hot tea instead of Earl Grey in the mornings.
~ Cut a restaurant meal in half to take home and use for lunch the next day. 
~ My neighbor saves her newspapers for me. I use them to put under the cat box and line garbage cans. She also gives me her coupons.
~ I saved the first cold water from the faucet while waiting for the hot water. I poured it into a bucket on the porch to water the herbs. 
~ I used 1/4 amount of suggested amount of fabric softener. Just enough to help the towels smell good. 
~ Blank back of paper, cut in squares and used for scrap paper. I keep a stack in most rooms to write down notes before my old brain forgets. :)
~ Paper bags from grocery store used to ripen fruit. 

I look forward to hearing if you have captured pockets of joy in your day. I'm hoping we can learn from each other as we find more ways to find joy in this life that God has graciously given us. 

Blessed to be home,


John Piper wrote: You are selling your soul for a bowl of oatmeal when you want God to just meet your earthly needs and call that love. That is not love. Love is when God frees you from your love affair with yourself and frees you to enjoy making much of him forever. You were made to know and love God. You know this is true. You stand by the seacoast. You stand by the edge of the Grand Canyon. You stand with your eye to a telescope, the Hubble telescope pictures or whatever. You stand there and you find your soul drawn out of yourself. And for a brief moment you are free from self-consciousness and self-absorption and it is the most full, satisfying, deep, wonderful moment and it will be forever if God is the universe and God is the Grand Canyon and God is the ocean. That is why you were made.