If you do stuff, stuff gets done.......

If you do stuff, stuff gets done.......

Monday, June 30, 2014

A trip down memory lane, shopping and more about cleaning a fridge

We went to Oklahoma City on Friday to have my husbands car checked by the dealer. We also went to our son's home to get the fresh shrimp he brought back from their vacation to the Texas coast.
We ended up just a short distance from a rent house in Midwest City that we lived in from 1983-1986. We drove by and took a photo- the house was not new when we lived there and it is not in a really great neighborhood but it looks almost just like it did 30 years ago and seems to be well maintained.

Our son's wife grew up in this same neighborhood, in a house just 5 blocks from this house.  We did not know her or her family then but we all think it is neat we did live close together even though we did not know it at the time. 


We also just happened to drive by US Foods. It is a rather new store, kind of like a Sams but without the membership fee. USFoods is a wholesale food company that mainly delivers food to businesses and institutions. Back when I was a cook at a fraternity house, USFoods was my favorite distributor. 
Now, USFoods has opened just a few retail stores.  

http://usfoods.com/about-us/chef-store.html
We browsed every aisle and had fun looking at all the kitchen and restaurant equipment.  Since it was a spur of the moment visit, I didn't have a plan to buy anything but we did find a few things 
The gloves were an especially good deal, about $4 for 100 and are handy when when we do messy things like painting.
I really like balsamic vinegar and have a hard time finding it in our town, 
I expect my grandchildren will be happy to snack on the goldfish. 
We will go back, when we need to stock up. They put an ad paper in the Oklahoman newspaper every so often so I will watch for sales on things we use.




I got so many comments from you all about my fridge cleaning. 
I forgot to mention about another important part - cleaning the fridge coils and air flow spots. 
The little fridge has coils on the back that get dusty and the big fridge gets lots of dust buildup in the bottom.  If you need to clean yours, just look it over for dust. 
My husband helped with this job. He used an air compressor to blow all the dust out of the bottom of the big fridge. He also used the vacuum hose to remove the dust.

Using the compressor blows the dust all over but it is important to get it out. Once our fridge broke because the dust in the bottom clogged up the motor.  

Today-I  mowed and edged the front and back yards.  We've had plenty of rain so everything is green and growing. 
The potted garden is mostly growing 


I picked more yummy cherry tomatoes


And discovered that 3 mystery vines are actually cantaloupe!  I did not plant cantaloupe, the seeds must of been in the compost.




Another photo of the potted zinnias - just because they are pretty and happy.


This afternoon, I worked on prettying up a couple of pairs of $1 flip flops with ideas from Pinterest. 
That will be my next post - I've rambled on here long enough with way too many topics.  


Thursday, June 26, 2014

At home this week.....




Thursday already?  this week has been flying by.....

We have been getting lots of rain.  I went out this morning to see if my pots of plants needed watered, they didn't, but I did find about  dozen cherry tomatoes ready to pick.  They would not all fit in my hand so I put them in my apron pockets.  

On Tuesday,  I did a little shopping.  At my favorite thrift store,  I found this back of the door rack for $4.  I had been looking at them online and they sell new for $25 or more.  This one is very sturdy and my husband will add some anchors to the top to make it secure to the door. 
I've read about Dukes mayo but have never seen it for sale in Oklahoma.  Well,  Dollar Tree sells it now, in little 8 ounce jars,  for $1.  It really is the best tasting mayo I've ever tried so I bought more.  I made pimento cheese and deviled eggs with it Saturday - 

Tuesday was a primary election day in Oklahoma.  For 2 of the races,  I liked both leading candidates.  But 2 other races,  I didn't care for any of the candidates.  At least for now,  the negative political  ads are taking a break on TV and online


the first zinnias planted are most all in bloom and just look so happy!




I've been reading a book called "all you need is less" and learned that the Downy fabric softener I have used for 30 years has some ewwwwww ingredients.  So, I bought some Mrs Meyers, both liquid and sheets, in lavender.  They smell so clean and soften the laundry just as good as the ewwww products.  
They do cost more but I don't care.  
yes  I have tried vinegar and the Diy softener made from hair conditioner in the past but was not happy with the results.  We have hard, full of lime water in Oklahoma, that famous homemade laundry soap does not work for me either.


I ended up having today free as one of my grandson's is sick so I decided to do a thorough cleaning of our 2 fridges from top to bottom, inside and outside.   I took everything out and put it in ice chests, then I removed the shelves and drawers to wash them and I sprayed down all the surfaces and wiped them until they were clean.
I also took of the papers and photos on the fronts and left nothing on the top but 2 baskets.  One basket holds washcloths to clean up grands when they are messy and the other holds zipper bags that get reused.

yes, there are a dozen ice trays.  the ice maker quit about  a month ago so I just make ice the old fashioned way.  I empty and refill every morning and it is not much effort at all.  We like lots of ice!
I sorted the condiments- all the peppers are in one door basket, 
 and salsas in one, salad dressings in another. 
trust me, both appliances needed cleaning and I am so happy they are sparkling clean, for now anyway. 

bye for now......I hope you are enjoying this first official week of summer 2014.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Oven roasted vegetables - easy and delicious

Have you tried oven roasting vegetables?  I know it is summer and turning on the oven sounds too hot, but these are a no-tend side dish. Once you put them in to cook, leave them alone and come back in 30 minutes and your side dish will be done.
Going in the oven.....
I usually line the baking tray with foil for easier clean up but it is not essential. 

Spread a small amount of oil on the foil - for one big zucchini, a quarter of a red diced onion and 1 potato, I used 1 heaped up teaspoon of coconut oil- any oil you like to cook with would work. 

 Just cut your vegetables into bite size-ish pieces. Those potatoes are in thin wedges, long but not really thick. 

Put the vegetables on the tray and toss them around to get the oil spread around.  
Season with salt and pepper as desired and then just bake in a preheated 450 degree oven for 30 minutes.  You can stir them halfway through but it is not necessary. 

Coming out of the oven.....

Squash and zucchini bake up with some caramelization. Potatoes are almost like fried fries.
Broccoli and cauliflower get crispy. 

This has become our favorite way to cook vegetables, especially when my husband cooks the main course outside on the grill and I have prepared a tossed salad earlier in the day. 

Friday, June 20, 2014

Frugal Friday

My first big job today was cooking 8 pounds of ground sirloin into chili and taco filling,
After cooking, it all went into the freezer in meal size containers. Having entrees that just need heated up really is convenient on busy days - and frugal as it prevents the need for a meal out by necessity.
I have used this taco seasoning for years. I usually double or triple it and keep it in a quart jar.
This is my chili recipe- I follow the spices but the other ingredients are flexible. I don't usually add the celery or bell pepper, I used tomato sauce and tomatoes with green chilies instead of the tomato juice and I used home cooked pintos instead of canned beans.

Both of the above recipes are from AllRecipes.com 


Made 2 pitchers of unsweetened ice tea- I think besides water, tea is the lowest cost of all beverages
We change the filter in our central air unit once a month. Apparently our size is not common and Walmart only has our size filters in the expensive version,
So I looked on Amazon and found a case of 12 for about $14.  I ordered them  Wednesday evening and they were delivered this morning. 


Like most days, I try to earn points on Swagbucks. Mostly I get them by running autoplay videos on my Kindle Fire. 

I mowed our yard with our electric lawn mower.  We have had the Neuton electric mower for 4 summers and it is so convenient, easy to use and quiet. My neighbor 2 doors down stopped today to ask about it.   

Did some quick sewing alterations on 2 grands swimsuits to make the waists smaller. 

Today is also laundry day- some of the laundry is air drying on hangers in doorways.

supper will be oven roasted zucchini from our daughter in laws garden and homemade roma
sauce over pasta. 


The grands did get to swim twice yesterday- once in the morning when it was barely warm and again after naps when it was hot.  They had just the best time! The 2 older ones that talk must of said "this is so much fun" and "this pool is awesome" and "thank you buying this pool" about 100 times. 

The cake baking and cake eating were a hit too!   I think there will lots more swimming and cooking with the grands this summer.



Thursday, June 19, 2014

Waiting for the sun to shine.....



We are in a drought and the rain we getting today is needed, but we are hoping the sun will come out soon.  The new pool is ready and this weather is kinking up the swimming plans.........
Lunch and snacks are ready and waiting in the fridge. Yesterday's shopping netted some very nice fruit.
I made up a small batch of homemade cake mix so the grands can stir up and bake their own tiny bundt cake - we got the little pans from my mom and the tiny whisks are from an Amish store in Branson, MO. 

         

2 of the grands are here, dressed in swim trunks and really hoping the sun is shining soon!

But whatever the weather brings, we have fun!  

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Wednesday........

Melanie said she likes to read posts about everyday things so I think she will like this one.....
She has a really sweet blog 
http://comfyhouse.blogspot.com and she writes about busyness at home, thrifting, family - a lot like I do.   
My husband requested striped Jello. I used 4 boxes of sugar free.
Just make one batch at a time and pour into containers, chill until set up and then make another batch. Just keep adding layers until the containers are full.
I think these are peach, lemon, orange and strawberry. It looks more impressive if the flavors are different colors but I just used what was in the pantry. 
He will like these, especially on days when he spends a lot of time in the heat



I left home before 8 this morning, I tried to do my shopping and errands before it got too hot. 
I took a big ice chest and put the perishables in it as I made different stops.  It was especially nice when I got home, I knew all the groceries were fine and I was able to sit for a bit and eat lunch and not rush putting the groceries away. 
I think I will take that ice chest and the milk jug full of frozen water every time I shop this summer. 

Shopping - I bought about everything on my list except for window cleaner.  I have not been happy with the homemade cleaners I have tried in the past but the book I am reading - see the previous post- has inspired me to try again.  I'll let you know how it goes.

My last stop was the nail salon- I got a pale pink for summer. 
My son was in town, bringing a trial exhibit he built to his brother. I was happy he has time to come visit me too. 

Supper was homemade pizza and a big salad.

Grandchildren will be here tomorrow and I think they will be so excited to play in this pool from Aldi.
Grandpa blew it up this evening with an air compressor and put enough water in it to keep it from blowing away.  There is a water spray that hangs down from the rainbow and it will get more water as the children play.

How was your Wednesday?

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

What I'm doing this week

The pattern blocks found at a yard sale are for children but I've been enjoying them too.  It is relaxing fitting the shapes together, kind of like quilt making.
Our $5 bucket contained 2 kinds of pattern blocks, the shapes and colors are the same but the ones in the bucket are wood and the ones on the table are plastic.

Thanks to Tammy and Pam, I found some free printable sheets for the grand children.  Thank you both!

Reading - the devotions book was from a church rummage sale and I won the "all you need is less" book from a blog giveaway.
To do list and bills to pay- I've been busy all morning but with other random things and have not crossed a single thing off of today's list, yet, but I plan to! 



I am sad and disturbed about what is going on in the Middle East and the Central American children immigrating alone 
I have no answers and no blame - I don't want to talk politics either, that gets too ugly


But I am so thankful to live in the USA.  So, I decked out the dining room with some our patriotic things...
I found the window bunting at a thrift store for $1.50.  My mom made the little quilt by the door and the doilies. I made or probably thrifted the rest.
A very simple arrangement- just little flags in a jar.



Also on to do list is a trip to the post office to mail a letter and 2 small packages off. 

Supper will be stuffed Bell Peppers and a green salad.


What is going on in your home? 



3 parties 3 days in a row


Party #1

Grand daughter Elizabeth turned 4 and her parents hosted a magical Frozen party for her, complete with the "real" Elsa and Anna. All the children believed they were the real royalty anyway.
The princesses are actually actresses from a company in Oklahoma City and made the party special in many ways.
The food table - the water bottles are labeled "melted snowman" 
The blue drink is Hawaiin Punch and was a favorite of the children party goers. 

Treats were kisses, special chocolate bars and some blue glittered goo that is not messy at all. 


The princesses visited with everyone, lead the games, signed autographs on the children's colored pictures and sang songs.


They also posed for lots of photos and were smiling the whole time.  

Party #2

This was a birthday party for daughter Nina, hosted by her brothers. The meal was 3 trays of entrees from Olive Garden and a fruit tray and salad. All I did was make a loaf of bread in the ABM machine.
One of their coworkers named Jessica baked this pretty cake. It was lemon layers with blackberry filling and delicious! 
Sweet little girls in party dresses
One of her gifts was this vintage book - it had a gift card inside.

This beach wreath was bought from LLBean- it is really pretty. 
After the gifts were unwrapped, the little ones had the most fun with a sheet of bubble wrap.

Party #3
My Uncle Rex turns 93 this month and there was a big party at his retirement home for him and the other 5 June birthday residents.  About 40 of his relatives attended and my mother said it was more fun than any of the recent family reunions. One of my cousins sang, she picked some sweet songs from the 30s and 40s and some patriotic songs. Another cousin accompanied her on the piano. 

sadly, I did not take a camera so I don't have photos of this event.

My Uncle Rex is quite a man. He was a Sailor during WWII. His ship was sunk and he spent 3 days in the middle of the Pacific Ocean before the rescue ship arrived. His wife and daughter both died young and he raised his only grandson alone.
Now he is a champion pie maker and bakes a pie almost everyday and shares them with his neighbors. 

There are even more June birthdays for family yet to be  - but I don't think any of them will have parties quite like these. 

Jeff and Rhonda

Jeff and Rhonda