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

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

Saturday, May 30, 2020

May News #11 weekend reading

Posting about noteworthy internet things for Weekend Reading is something Terri  @ Blue House Journal and Down To Earth  do and I’m going to share one to start.  
Like Merchant Ships  was one of the first blogs I ever read.  Meridith was the author and she published between 2005-2010.  She lived a very frugal life and did it with much beauty and class. 

She doesn’t seem to be still be blogging but does very occasionally post a link on Tumblr and that is linked in my favorites in the sidebar here. 
Meredith has beautiful photos and isn’t long winded so it’s easy to read her blog like a magazine.  I think most of her ideas are timeless too.  
I find her very inspirational and just pleasant to read.  

Look up  
Like Merchant Ships - I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.  

Do any of you know if she is still online anywhere? 

It’s been a busy week here.  Grandchildren were here lots while one of their parent’s  had outpatient surgery and is recovery very nicely now.  

We had fun going on walks,  making lots of Perler bead things and eating most meals on the patio.  

I’m afraid I let them use devices quite a bit too but I do monitor what they’re playing. 

3 little boys all clean after evening showers 

Yesterday was just my husband and I.  
I made some fresh salsa- or pico de gallo 
I used grape tomatoes because they were on sale and have lots of flavor, garlic powder, red onion, fresh jalapeño, fresh cilantro  and lime juice.  

The tomatoes are a bit tedious to chop but with a sharp knife, it goes fast.  
There are no specific amounts - I used 2 boxes of tomatoes, about 2/3 onion, all of the jalapeño (it was a mild one) and all the cilantro in the photo.  Then add garlic salt and lime to taste,  

We had it was a pantry meal - what we call nachos.  
Spread refried beans on tortilla chips, tostado shells or taco shell broken in half.  Top with jalapeños as desired and grated cheese as desired.  
Bake at 400 degrees until hot. 
Last night we used jarred nacho cheese sauce instead of fresh cheese and it was delicious. 

Serve with fresh salsa and it was so good! 

This is a quick meal when you need to feed people and don’t want to serve meat or don’t have meat thawed out.  

Hope you all have  a nice weekend 
❤️ Rhonda 

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

May news #10

Good morning ☀️  

First is my weekly to do list

We had a great visit Friday evening with our son and the 3 grands that don’t live in our town 
The weather was nice and we stayed on the patio.  My husband grilled some burgers and sausages.  The kids played and desssert was ice cream treats from the freezer.  

It’s hard to get a photo with them all 3 smiling but RJ is really a very happy kid,  but like so many of us, he’s not crazy about being told to do something 

Aren’t these pretty biscuits?  Sorry, they are not from scratch........
  I just baked them, they are Walmart frozen biscuits and are really good.  

I filled them all with a slice of Canadian bacon and 1/2 slice of cheese and then froze them again. 
They reheat in the microwave in 90 seconds and my husband is happy to have them for breakfast.  

Yesterday was a grocery pickup day.  It was mostly fresh stuff as we have plenty of staples.  
Not shown are some mini ice cream sandwiches and sodas.  
More grandchildren will be here this week and they are all fans of the little yogurts with M&Ms.  

A little more food prep was making a big salad and dicing 4 big onions. 
I like to dice them all at once and have them ready for cooking- makes cooking meals one step quicker.  

I didn’t take a photo but last’s nights supper was really good.  
I did make a few changes- I used ground turkey and added onions.   I also skipped using a mixing bowl,  just added all the wet ingredients to the pan with the cooked meat and onions and then poured it into the baking dish. 
Mine filled a 13x9 casserole almost 1/2 full and I think it would be a great family meal.  

And a retro photo- my cousin posted this on Facebook.  I’m the little girl,  I’m guessing I’m about 8.  
My mom and dad were always the most glamorous people in our little town even though they didn’t really try to be,  they just were.  
Mom sewed both our dresses.  
People make fun of June Cleaver because she wore heels and pearls all the time,  I don’t think my mom usually was that dressed up but she always looked and dressed nice ❤️ 

Hope you’re all well ❤️

Thursday, May 21, 2020

May news #9 - purchases

Good evening,  
I didn’t take any photos but we spent today with 2 grandsons that we’ve barely seen during this quarantine.  That was really nice! 

Back around the first of March,  our 10 year old Bosch dishwasher started leaking.  My husband said to buy a new one.  So we went to Lowe’s where the selection was quite limited.  Even so, it worked out for the best as I’m so happy with the new dishwasher we did pick out.  
It is also a Bosch and it has a feature I didn’t even know existed on dishwashers- a 3rd pull out rack.  

I use that third rack all the time.  Sometime I put shallow dishes on the top rack.  
Sometimes I take the silverware basket out of the bottom rack to make room for more big dishes and then load all our silverware and utensils in the top rack.  

The dishwasher was not frugal but it was on sale and to spend even less,  we brought it home in the back of husband’s pickup and then he installed it to save on delivery and installation.  

Other brands also had the third rack.  So if you plan on buying a new dishwasher,  I’m a big fan of this style.  

The disruption in the supply chain during this quarantine and not being to really shop in person has really concerned me.  
I’ve been keeping a full pantry and freezer and couponing stockpile for years,  but the shortages we’ve been seeing made both my husband and I want to increase our food storage at home.  
So,  we’ve added more food storage in our guest room.  

In the flat storage containers are different kinds of rice, beans, sugars. 
There are extra spices to flavor all those beans, plenty of coffee and tea, pet food, canned soups, meats, fruits and veggies and assorted household items.  
I have no idea if this was the right thing to do but except for some canned meats,  all the products are things we regularly use.  
I didn’t buy this in one shopping trip.  The stores in my towns have limits.  Most of it was was bought week by week through the Walmart grocery pickup.  

Have any of y’all felt the need to stock up more than usual? 
Time will tell if it’s necessary but if things do all get better,  we will just use these things in the future and be ahead on grocery shopping 

❤️ Rhonda 

Monday, May 18, 2020

May news #8 - mostly cooking

Hello everyone 

I finally made the chicken broth this morning.  I used vegetable scraps and chicken backbones, both saved from previous food prep and saved in freezer bags.  I put them in the crockpot and added water and let them cook all day on high.  

After cooking and straining,  there was close to a gallon of rich chicken broth.  I don’t add salt to mine.  The storebought broths are usually so high in sodium and we just don’t need that much extra salt.  

It will stay in the fridge all night.  Tomorrow, I’ll skim off the fat and freeze the broth in meal size containers.  
Homemade broth is easy and is almost free as it’s made from food that many people throw away.  

Supper was meatloaf made with this recipe.  I did alter it a bit,  using whole eggs, omitting the Worcestershire and doubling the recipe.  
Skinny Meatloaf

My husband and I really enjoyed this recipe.  I took some to my parent’s home and our son’s home and they all enjoyed it too.  
I will make this recipe again.  

This week’s to do list 

Hope you all are well
❤️ Rhonda 

Sunday, May 17, 2020

May news # 7 - ordinary days

Hello everyone 
From comments from you all,  y’all  seem to like posts about everyday things.  I’m just doing plain, basic stuff right now so that’s what I’ll write about. 
But some people may think this kind of post is as boring as watch paint dry.  

Some of my grandchildren were here for their first sleepover in more than 2 months. They were so happy to be here and I know their parents enjoyed a break.  
We made play dough with corn starch and hair conditioner.  It makes a very soft, fragrant play dough and it cleans up easily.  
I’ve read you can do this with lotion instead of conditioner but I’ve never tried that.
It’s made with equal parts of both ingredients and then just add little dabs if it’s too dry or too wet.  
To make it thrifty,  use a bottle of conditioner from the DollarTree or use a bottle you already have at home but don’t like.  

We went for a walk and this one picked a bouquet of wildflowers for me ❤️

I went to my parent’s retirement home this afternoon and we visited with them on their 2nd floor balcony and me on the ground.  
It’s better than nothing.  They expect to be “Lock in” for 3-4 more weeks but who knows? 
I took them some pizza, art work from the grands,  bottoms of dress pants I hemmed for my son (my mom will use them in her crazy quilts) and newspapers.  

Besides hemming pants,  I altered the waist on a pair of my pants and sewed a simple swim poncho from an extra-long beach towel.  
It’s for the tallest granddaughter.  Her mom bought the towel and I just cut a neck hole and added wide bias tape to finish the seam.  
Her other grandparents have a very nice backyard pool so she can swim even if all the public places are not safe right now.mm

Meals have been simple too. 
Our weather has been mild and we’ve enjoyed outside several meals.

This very basic pepper steak as delicious.  It was diced up cube steak,  bell peppers from last summer’s garden, onions, and a spicy Szechuan sauce from Aldi,  served on rice.  

Those are the highlights from some ordinary days during this pandemic.  
❤️ Rhonda 

Thursday, May 14, 2020

May news #6 - home things and books

I’m here, just haven’t felt like I had any news to blog.  It’s been a quiet week. My husband had physical therapy twice and I’ve been home.  We’ve both been reading lots on Kindles.  

Last month I showed y’all the mess when I emptied out some kitchen cabinets.  
I did get it all put in a much better way, with less stuff and I’m happy with it.  But this is the only cabinet that got new shelf paper.  I ordered some on grocery pickup and it’s very pretty but I’m not fond of it’s  quality at all.  

Below is the baking cabinet and I’m very happy with how easy it is to get just what I need when I’m cooking. 

In the corner is my Kitchenaid mixer bought in 1988 I think.  It’s been used so much and still works perfectly.  

More masks - this style is what my family members like best.  I’ve been adding wire to the nose area and it really helps with fit
A very sweet blog reader in Waco offered to mail me some elastic and I came this week so I’ll be finishing more masks soon.  Thank you so much Stacy!  I mailed you a card yesterday.  

Our dog Ducky loves to chew so I ordered him a Super Chewer Barkbox.  He was very happy with the food products they sent  but he doesn’t like the toys one bit.  Barkbox offers satisfaction guaranteed so I messaged them and that very day they answered and shipped out smaller toys for Ducky.  
So hopefully he will like the smaller toys.  
The Barkbox toys are great and look to me like they will stand up to very aggressive chewing.  

Ducky is going to pass these toys on to his “cousin” dog Murray who lives in Georgia.
Murray is bigger than Ducky, and getting bigger as he’s still a puppy.   
Isn’t Murray a cutie too?  His Mom Megan took this photo 

Remember when I shared the cinnamon rolls our son baked 
His sister bakes cinnamon rolls too.  She made several double batches and delivered them with baking instructions for Teacher Appreciation gifts and Mothers Day gifts. 
And they were delicious!
The Recipe  she used 
here.  It’s a great recipe and  she used regular butter frosting, not cream cheese as a family preference 

One of the books I’ve read, and it’s about a pandemic but I really enjoyed it and recommend it.
I ordered mine from Thriftbooks.com but I sure it’s available other places, maybe even the library if they ever open back up.  

 I’m also reading this series 
It’s a very long but interesting series.  

So,  I’m really enjoying reading but I’m not getting a lot else done.  
But during this situation, I think it’s OK.  

Hope you all are fine

Monday, May 11, 2020

May news #5 - to do list and more plants

Good morning ☀️ 

This week’s to do list- I’ve already done the grocery pickup and went in to Walmart to buy a gift card that we use for our gas purchases.  

I replanted the zinnia patch from last year, with seeds saved from last year’s zinnias.  

Look at all the new baby zinnias- zinnias are so easy to grow from seed and once they start blooming,  they bloom all summer 🌸 

Our breakfast on Sunday- just frozen biscuits with scrambled eggs but it was delicious 😋 

I’m hoping to get lots done today and go for a walk if the rain cooperates with my plans.  
Have a great Monday everyone

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

May News #4 - flowers and masks

Hello everyone 

If you want to make the simplest mask I’ve seen,  watch this video 

Below are small child size ones 

Some very lawyer-ish masks for my son.  He wanted them all solid navy so I added a tiny tag of twill tape to the inside so he can tell which side has been facing out and which side goes on his face.  

Our home so looks so happy with all the spring flowers blooming.  Many of them are perennials my husband bought on clearance at Lowe’s in recent years.  

The bushes with white flowers are Mock Orange and I think they’re so pretty.  

The dianthus came back so big and full this spring -they are the big pink and red clumps.  

Below is a peony that only had one bloom last year.  This year it had more than a dozen buds.  


Right by our front door - did  you notice in these photos all our windows were open?  It was breezy and mid-60s yesterday so I opened all our windows and gave the house a good airing out.  

We had a redwood picnic table that was looking so weathered and not in a good way.  
So my husband turned it into a 12 foot planter that fits perfectly where the patio ends and before the fence.  
Then he planted it with more assorted plants from Lowe’s 

And a little funny thing
3 of our grandchildren were here yesterday while their mom had a doctor appointment. 
They were so happy to be here and acted so nice. 
Toward the end of the visit, Elizabeth and JJ were crafting but Elizabeth wasn’t happy that JJ was kind of copying her.  
I told her she was being kind of grouchy.
JJ said "maybe she needs a nap”

Hope you are all well

Monday, May 4, 2020

May News #3 - weekend painting, more masks 😱 and a new to do list

Hope you all have had a good weekend.  We had a nice one,  quiet one of course.  Are there any other kind during quarantine?  

This is my cactus painting from the free Friday night Facebook class.  It was fun

I keep hearing about people that need masks so I cut out a bunch more 

And my weekly to do list that I already started on today 

Chat with you all soon
❤️ Rhonda