I took more cuttings from my bushes in the front yard to start new bushes for the backyard. I hope these take; my last cuttings were not very successful, though I had a few that rooted. Still, try, try again is the method of the day! I need around 1300 plants to make my hedges, which would cost me $5764 if I were to buy them. I want to make all of these from the existing hedges I have growing in the front yard, so it’s worth my time to keep trying. I know it will take many years to make enough cuttings and for them to grow in, but a garden always takes years to fill in.

My husband poured concrete pillars in the garden to support our trellises. These will keep the metal trellises from having to go into the ground, preventing them from rusting over time. Wooden trellises can disintegrate in the sun here, which is one reason why we will be making metal ones. (I do use wooden furniture in the garden, and use oil or paint it to protect it from the sun; metal furniture is too hot to sit on without being burned!) The pillars will also keep the trellises steady during the high winds that we have here frequently.

We used a jackhammer that we borrowed to dig bases for the pillars and to lower some spots in beds.

I purchased more soil in bulk and picked it up in the trailer that we are borrowing from my brother-in-law, saving the $65 delivery fee each time.

I picked up the free tomato offered at the nursery with any purchase. My free tomato actually had two tomato plants in the pot!

I dug some parsley seedlings that were growing in a clump in the garden, carefully separated them, and replanted them in my white garden near the front door. This area is in shade and will allow me to push the time I can grow parsley until it is too hot (it burns in the sun here come April).

I gave my husband a haircut and one son another haircut (my son decided he didn’t want it so long on top after all).

It’s now been a year since we installed LED bulbs throughout the house. We are continuing to save around $20 each month on our electric bill since then. We have now broke even on our purchase.

I bought some red bell peppers on sale for $0.38 each at Winco and broccoli crowns on sale for $0.98 a pound.

As several people have asked how I am using some of the school food from the federally-funded meals that are available to every child here, I thought I would share some of my combinations this week. There is a lot of food each day, and we often find ourselves with extra things that my children can’t or don’t want to eat as part of a meal, so I like to find ways to use them for another meal.

I combined cauliflower, carrots, broccoli, and milk from the school lunches with more purchased broccoli, two onions, a potato, and some cheese to make broccoli cheese soup one night.

I used ten containers of vanilla-flavored Greek yogurt along with two milks to replace the buttermilk called for in a pancake recipe. When I make pancakes, I have to quadruple the recipe for a single breakfast for my family (with seven of my nine children at home). Yogurt makes pancakes fluffy just like buttermilk, and Greek yogurt adds additional protein to the recipe.

What did you do to save money last week?

I’ll be sharing photos of my white garden in bloom later this week. Come back for the post!

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106 Comments

  1. It is so nice to see all the photos of flowers, since we still have snow on the ground here. I continue to be astounded and inspired by all the work you are putting into improving your garden. It is going to be gorgeous.
    My husband was in Houston all week repairing plumbing for his parents and sister. I made use of my time while he was away doing a deep clean of the house. I washed walls, woodwork, floors, and windows and gave the bathrooms a deep scrub.
    I sifted 6 five-gallon buckets of compost and top-dressed the beds in my greenhouse.
    I made a batch of hamburger buns and a double recipe of meatballs, which I froze.
    I was able to get my first Covid vaccine on Wednesday – yay! I’m only sorry my husband wasn’t home to get his also, but we’ve been promised he can get it when he comes home.
    On the way home from my vaccine, I stopped at a local thrift store to look for a lamp shade. Everything was half price. I found the shade I needed for $2.50. I also purchased a new-with-tags set of women’s pajamas for $5 (The tag said $50 – the clerk and I both agreed we’d never pay that for pajamas.) a set of queen sheets for $4.50 (I have been wanting another set of sheets) and two throw pillows for the sofa for $1.75 each (The two pillows I had on there were long past looking nice, even recovered and re-stuffed.)

    1. Great deals!

      I’ll be sharing lots of flowers from my white garden later this week. The daffodils and trees are in bloom.

  2. Thank you for sharing your beautiful photos.

    I am making broccoli potato soup today and have taco soup on the menu later this week. We didn’t need to grocery this past weekend. My husband (still only working every other week) is taking the car in to the shop so, while he is out, he will buy milk and half & half.

    We gave our 2 dogs baths yesterday and I trimmed them afterward. They don’t look like they do after professional grooming, but it’s a big improvement at zero cost.

    My husband and I reviewed finances on Saturday. I am making it a goal to stay on track and I need his support (and could use his encouragement).

    I am not having germination success with my seeds. I started some tomatoes again over the weekend and some lettuce today. I tried the tip from one reader about soaking the seeds first so I hope that does the trick.

    It’s sunny here in NYC today and supposed to reach the 60’s Tuesday and Wednesday. Fingers crossed! I have laundry hanging in the cellar but maybe in a day or two can hang things outside to dry.

    Wishing everyone a healthy and frugal week ahead!

  3. We do not have much snow on the ground but the ground is still frozen where I live. Like Cindi, I am so enjoying your flower photos!
    You found a great deal on the broccoli and the peppers.

    I feel like we haven’t had a lot of frugal things to share the last few weeks, so I’ve been reading and “light” commenting but haven’t added my own frugal happenings for a while.
    We’re still living in our house while the remodeling is progressing – the remodel is expensive (saved for and planned, but expensive) and living in the house while the remodel is happening saves us quite a bit of money over renting a second dwelling or a hotel room. I’ve been cooking with a Crock Pot (slow cooker), small air fryer, toaster and drip coffee maker. We’ve also eaten a lot of sandwiches and salads and a friend is bringing over meals once per week as a much appreciated gift. We are currently living in about 1/3 of our home which is challenging to say the least. Thankfully, we can all be gone during the day, which helps greatly.

    Your garden improvements are such an inspiration, Brandy. I’ve been planning out my garden for both increased yield of vegetables and flowers and we are planning on adding a peach tree and another blueberry bush this year as well.

    Lea

    1. Bless you. I took 5 kids to upper Michigan in January one year for 8 weeks while my husband worked. We had rented a suite and they sold the hotel to someone who would not honor the reservation so we were stuck in a one bedroom hotel room with no kitchen, microwave, or anything. They did find a mini refrigerator they brought into the room. They brought in 2 cribs so with 2 queen beds and cribs you could barely walk. I had an electric skillet and I cooked in the bathroom ( I know, disgusting) It was a Holidome so I would take the kids down and we sat at the indoor picnic table near the indoor pool to home school. It had an indoor play area so we would play. But cooking without a kitchen sure is hard. It will all be worth it when you are done remodeling, hang in there!

      Just a funny story. My 3 year old had busted her chin before our trip and had stitches. We got them removed the day before traveling. We stopped midway in Indianapolis for the night and she hit her chin on the edge of the pool, opening the cut back up. So husband took her to ER and they restitched. We were in Michigan when it was time to remove stitches. I held her down to get them out and she screamed bloody murder and I knew someone would call CPS on me. So I took her to our van and my 11 year old held her down while I removed the stitches.

      1. Bama Holly, I laughed out loud at your “screamed bloody murder” experience! Our oldest daughter was not happy with me at the grocery store one day, and started yelling “Stop abusing me!” at the top of her lungs. (If I remember right, I’d told her she couldn’t have a package of something, and then told her to knock off the griping.) Nothing happened, but I was just waiting for a phone call…
        They’d think I was the one getting abused at the doctor’s office; whenever our girls got shots, I usually couldn’t stand it, and would start sobbing. I still have trouble handling it when they’re hurt, even though they’re now 32 and 34.
        We are going into our fourth week of volunteering for Ethnos360, a missions group that trains bush pilots for use around the world, ferrying in supplies, teachers, doctors, etc., and ferrying out people for medical evacs. This sounds noble, but really, we’re just doing stuff like home renovation (Husband hung drywall and did plumbing last week), babysitting, setting up/takedown for meetings, things like that.
        It’s in McNeal, AZ, a tiny spot out in the Arizona desert surrounded by bare rock mountains in the distance, not far from the Mexican border (20 miles). A BIG change from our usual Colorado home. The temps have been reasonably pleasant, but dry as a bone and a ton of wind. For weeks, I watched one green bush in an otherwise brown landscape. Now it’s starting to green up a little, which is encouraging. Very desolate, though Husband keeps reminding me that we don’t have to drive much further than we did to Denver in order to get to a bigger town. Seeing garden and flower photos right now is a mental pick-me-up.
        We live in a fifth-wheel now all the time. I try hard to make every veggie and bit of protein count, thin out our whole milk purchases some with water (you can do it up to 25% without sacrificing on taste), and adapt by substituting other ingredients when I need to. I also purchased extra canned and dry goods before we came…but our ‘basement’ is a 3′ x 4′ space approx. that also needs to house wood blocks for stabilizing, as well as laundry and stored winter clothing. Nothing like your pantry, Brandy!

        1. Dry, windy, and not much to see is pretty normal desert weather for us! It’s so nice to have something green growing in the garden!

      2. Bamma Holly,

        Thanks for the laugh and the encouragement! I, too, have cooked in a hotel bathroom (gross!) and would be perfectly happy to never do it again. Never for 5 children though (thankfully!).

        I am so looking forward to this being done – we start drywall next week so it shouldn’t be too long (provided the cabinets come in on time – fingers crossed and praying hard!). Our kitchen was the original 1958 kitchen with 11ft 1in of counter space including the kitchen sink! My mom called it a “one rump kitchen” and it really was – two people just did not fit. Our new kitchen will be approximately twice the size of the old one with triple the counter space (including an island/bar!). My cousin and I have already planned a cookie baking party with my Mom and her cousins at Christmas time this year. We want to preserve all the “traditional” cookie recipes from our family before everyone is gone. Mom is 85 and many of her cousins are older, so it’s time!

        I can just picture your 3-year-old – jeepers, the things that make us shake our heads and laugh later.

        Lea

      3. My children were never allowed to jump on our beds. College girl was about 4 and bruised her eye when her knee popped up and hit her in eye. The school promptly called me and let me know child services was on their way to the school. Seems Lil missy smarted off and told her teacher I gave her the black eye. Funny right ? Not so much . I told them to go question sugar cookie , because she never lies. Thankfully it was quickly resolved. That child has always had a bad sense of humor. She still laughs over this.

    2. One of our friends is a contractor and told us this story regarding a total remodel on somebody’s house. The couple insisted on staying there during the remodel and, as it was summer, it mattered little if part of the house was open to the elements. The couple went to bed at night and they awoke in the morning only to find a family of opossums sleeping on the end of their bed! True story.

      1. Oh my goodness!
        I’m not sure what I would have done.!

        We did have a vole get in one day – quickly gotten in a trap – but that was plenty. Thankfully it was far away from the bed and bedding.

        Thanks for the laugh!
        Lea

  4. You’re early this week! I always love to hear what you are doing in the garden. We are at least two months away from digging in the dirt here. One of the highlights of my trip to Phoenix the last week of February was planting a small garden for my cousin–a few annuals and some seeds in a raised planter. I have done this for the last three years.

    Last week wasn’t a real barn-burner. In addition to the usual frugal stuff–
    * I bought 10 more pounds of asparagus for .99 lb.  I  blanched and froze 11 more packages (total of 17 plus 4 quarts pickled). A foot of foil is cheaper than a freezer bag and the spears fit better.
    * I had all but given up on ever getting the lens back into a pair of sunglasses.  I made myself try one more time, and by golly, it worked! I’m still amazed. (The trick was to insert the lens from the front…plus I got lucky, LOL).
    * I paid my bills online (as usual), saving po$tage and a whole lot of time.
    * I canceled a CC that has an annual fee (the first year was free). We used it last year to accumulate a lot of FF miles on American Airlines for my husband.  I ordered some shoes from Nordstrom Rack through an airline shopping portal in order to keep my own FF account from expiring and losing miles. It’s only worth a few miles, but it’s worth the effort to keep miles from expiring…which has happened, unfortunately, but never will again.

  5. Greetings everyone!
    This has been quite the week for us. It looks as though we will be delayed a bit on purchasing a home which has been quite the disappointment for us. We will continue to work on saving as we have been and accomplishing a few more tasks before we begin looking again in January. Since we have had this change in plans I am now planning to get a garden in the ground. I purchased zinnia seeds as I plan to create a large border of zinnias around our deck to draw more butterflies, hummingbirds and bees to the yard. These are all great for the garden and we love to watch them so win, win! I am planning to plant only the vegetables that performed really well for us in the last two years. I will plant around 40-50 tomato plants, 3 varieties of green beans, several varieties of peppers including green & red bell peppers, banana peppers, & jalapenos. I plan to extend the amount and variety of herbs we plant so that I can put away sofrito & pesto this summer. I will also plant a larger amount of spinach to take advantage of the partially shady spot we have as well as sugar snap peas. I am thinking of trying snow peas as well. The majority of these items will come from seed that I already have on hand but I will purchase some seedlings as they begin to be offered on sale at local nurseries.
    We have continued eating from our freezers and pantry. Meals included roasted chicken thighs with peach salsa, roasted asparagus purchased for $0.88/lb, rice, turkey chili, pinto beans, brownies, & baked potatoes. I found a bag of jalapenos that we had frozen last summer – I was sad because I thought we had run out and I love to use the halves without seeds or membranes when I cook pots of black beans to create great flavor. I pulled a turkey from the freezer that we purchased in early November and will roast it for us tomorrow. I also cooked a large pot of black beans – we ate some yesterday evening with rice, avocado, & lime. I plan to use some of the turkey and black beans to make a pan of enchiladas.
    I kept grocery purchases to a minimum this week buying fresh fruit, milk, cheese, bagels, eggs, and coffee creamer. We purchased some snack items and a good friend brought us donuts which were enjoyed.
    I took our dog to the vet as she was due for her annual shots. I keep an insurance policy on her and the deductible is $250 per year. We surpassed that amount with one visit so all visits for this year will be covered at 90%. She has allergies which require injections throughout the year that cost $120 each time – this makes the policy more than worth it for us. I took advantage of a rebate for her flea medicine & heartworm medicine which saved us $75. Hopefully we are good for the next several months.
    We took our primary vehicle in for a recall service and they ended up replacing the ignition switch which I had an appointment to repair. Since this was covered under warranty it cost us $0 out of pocket.
    Since we will renew our lease for another year it will save us just over $100/month since our increase will be limited under the terms of our lease. My husband finished building a bookcase and repaired a door jam for some friends of ours – this will bring an extra $350 into our budget this month. We played several rounds of Parcheesi and enjoyed lots of time outdoors as Spring weather has begun on our area. I purchased a large bottle of Bonner’s Castille soap and used a diluted amount to scrub down all the floors & base boards in our home. It was quite the task but the floors came out really well. The soap was an investment but I have heard good things about it and am hopeful that it will stretch to clean many things and justify the cost a bit more. I also began a spring cleaning of our pantry space and closets – this project will take a bit of time but is very needed as we need to get jars counted and prepped for summer canning AND I am trying to get rid of all the stuff we are not using.
    Hope everyone has a very productive week!

    1. Angie, I use Dr. Bronner’s soap for *everything*! Laundry, all cleaning around my home including the kitchen and bathrooms. I use it in my homemade shampoo recipe and make a body wash from it too. When I travel or go camping, I take only one small bottle of that soap and a small bag (ziplock snack bag) of baking soda; I can make anything I need with those two ingredients added to water! It is a good investment indeed!

  6. Do you use rooting hormone when you attempt to root cuttings? It really helps. It comes in a small bottle; it’s a powder. You dip the cut end into it and plant into soil. I’ve had my little bottle for as long as I can remember; it just lasts and lasts. My brand is from Canada: ‘Garden Treat’ rooting powder .25% indole-3-butyric acid. Instructions say: Cut stem at a slight angle. Dip lower 1 to 2 cm into powder. Transfer cutting to sand, vermiculite or soil. You have a monumental task ahead but no doubt will slay it, in trumps.

    1. I used rooting powder on every single one. After talking with a friend, it could be the lack of humidity here that is causing the trouble. It could also be that they were fall cuttings; I am hoping that some spring cuttings will succeed better. I watched several videos on doing them before I did these, but I will keep at it until I have the hedges I need!

      1. I suspect it was because they are fall cuttings, when the plants are slowing down. I tried some fall cuttings and seem to be having some success (some are tight in the ground, but I’ll know more when/if they leaf out). However, I do better with softwood and semi-hardwood cuttings in the spring and summer. More active growing time (although perennials put out a lot of roots in winter–I just don’t know if they START roots well).

        1. I don’t think so. They’re outside and our humidity is 10-16% here. My friend suggested covering them.

          1. Brandy we had more luck when we started doing cuttings in a wicking bed. We use an old bath as we want to start loads for a new garden. Easier to keep moisture up as the reservoir lasts for a while. I suspect it might be humid too especially covered

      2. Spring cuttings are definitely best. I have used black currant cuttings as row markers and ended up with a bunch of plants that I sold the next year at a yard sale. Those just went into the ground; no hormones. We do have wet springtimes where I live. All those little johnny jump ups and perennial herbs that volunteer, divided chives, extra flowering bulbs can be potted up and sold to put more money back into your garden. I haven’t done a yard sale in ages but give away a lot of perennials like egyptian onion, asparagus (pops up everywhere), wild leeks, herbs, raspberries. It is nice to have them growing somewhere and not tossed onto the compost pile. I share seeds and cuttings with friends although I am food oriented and won’t plant flowers as I have established perennial flower beds. All they get is a bit of weeding. Gosh, I’m so anxious for spring!

      3. I’ve had some luck with putting cuttings in an old milk jug with some water in the bottom (cut side down, obviously). Then you just tighten the cap on top and it becomes a little greenhouse. Mine took a couple of weeks to grow roots.

  7. What great prices on peppers and broccoli. And a bonus tomato is a wonderful thing! I like your use it up ideas for the school foods. Last week, lettuce and thyme were harvested. Most of my wintersown containers are up, including lettuce and spinach, and I seeded three more containers. More pruning and weeding was done. Bird suet was made, and two window frames on the new workshop were painted spring green. I have a small window basket to hang under one of the windows. When I couldn’t find any of the coco inserts in its size, my husband recommended I make one out of burlap, which I have on hand. So, that will be put on my to do list. I don’t have experience with window boxes, so I’ll need to research to see which plants would be happy in it. The garlic I’d dehydrated was ground into powder. I keep an older coffee grinder with a cracked lid for this purpose, and then dehydrated another tray of garlic. I’m trying an experiment of sifting out the ash from the woodstove. I placed the ashes around several fruit trees. The larger charred pieces that remained are being collected in a 5 gal bucket. When it’s full, I’ll “charge” it with compost tea, then apply it in the garden. My husband believes it will be the same as the biochar we’ve made previously, with none of the extra work. The peas are germinating slowly. Only 5 were up yesterday, so I expect to be reseeding some more soon. http://abelabodycare.blogspot.com/2021/03/the-power-of-color.html

  8. -The week focused mostly on getting supplies. I walked to the grocery store a couple of times and bought food for the next couple of weeks. There weren’t any sale prices that caught my eye, so I just tried to buy what I needed that seemed reasonable and necessary.
    -I placed an online order that will be here in a week. It included a couple of things like canned salmon and orzo at prices that match best prices locally when the sales are on (they’re not on sale now and these are both items that aren’t on sale very often), and some items that aren’t available here. These will go in the pantry for use in April or May and beyond. The order included masa harinha for making tortillas. I was also looking for corn meal, but there is a shortage and nothing at any reasonable price. I’ve found a recipe I like the look of for corn bread that uses masa harinha, so I’ll definitely try that. There were a few things I priced and simply couldn’t get myself to buy, like dried mushrooms. I’ll check them out the next time I go to the next town over, and see if they are more reasonable there. I’ll need to buy groceries again for what I need in March, and to continue stocking up for April, but I made some progress, anyway.
    -My pharmacist faxed my doctor for a renewal on my prescriptions. Normally the renewal is for 3 months, but I only fill one month at a time. This time, he filled all three months. They are really trying to encourage people to move to three months after getting us all to move to one month. They are trying to have less traffic in the pharmacy while Co-vid variants are afoot and while they are gearing up for vaccinations. It saved me $25 on co-pays, a 45% price reduction. I was also able to get $2.55 off of each of two bottles of Vitamin D, which is also a three-month supply, ibuprofen, some mask filters, and tape for masks. I won’t need to go back until the beginning of June.
    -I cancelled Acorn to make ends meet for a few days around the first of the month. I’ll keep going with this until the days start to get much shorter again in September/October, which would be a $45 saving. I can find enough on YouTube and CBC TV online in the meantime, and spend much less time looking at screens when there is more daylight.

    1. Elizabeth, my library offers a free Acorn subscription pass. You have to check in each week that you want to watch. Perhaps your library offers the same.

      1. Good idea. I’ll check and see. I’m happy with a couple of series I’m watching, but I tire suddenly of series, and many need a new supply soon enough!

        1. I don’t know if all libraries do. I just know that mine does. Check out your library district’s website. They may offer more than you think!

  9. This past week has been one of progress for us!
    We had a warm-ish day on Wednesday so Hubs and our youngest son were able to remove and replace our 2 dining room windows! https://pin.it/3cEohy8 Hubs has since replaced the framework around the windows! We can already feel the lack of drafts around them!! We delivered the old windows up to our son-in-law on the 13 acres who plans to build a greenhouse using them! We are glad to see them being recycled!!

    I decluttered/ emptied out a tall cabinet we bought years ago from the Habitat for Humanity Restore. It is in our laundry room, had 2 shelves and had become a catch-all for an odd assortment of unneeded things. I emptied out 4 bags of useless things that went out to the trash and 1 bag that went to a daughter’s family. Hubs made 4 shelves and this is what I was able to do with it: https://pin.it/6wgs7Jn. He built the shelves from scrap wood in his shop and got the shelf clips from one of his “widget” drawers where he puts hardware salvaged from discarded furniture! So $0 out of pocket cost and I now have a great new dry storage area!

    I had another client quilt come in on Monday afternoon. It was a baby quilt using the same pattern as her quilt class sample I quilted for her last week, but it was for a baby shower. https://pin.it/5SvF3gO . So that was Quilt #123 for my longarm machine. I also finished constructing and then quilting and binding a quilt that I made from a photo I had seen. https://pin.it/3pjoKQG and https://pin.it/W4mPCNT. That became my Quilt #124! It was totally made from scraps! Even the batting was leftover from a larger quilt! So again, no out of pocket cost and it will be ready when I need a gift!

    This week is becoming warmer and so we’ve been letting our hens out into the yard to forage! They’ve rewarded us by upping their egg production to over 2-1/2 dozen a week!! What a blessing!!

    Hubs and I watched a free 90 minute webinar on ways to increase our garden yield and came away with several good ideas without feeling the need to purchase her $150 “expanded” library of information! It seems like there is always good instruction available at our fingertips, often free, that can teach us new skills!

    Hubs has his first cataract surgery coming up on Wednesday, so before then, we are trying to move some projects along.

    We are going to BofA today to open a checking account. They have a promo that will give us $300 after we authorize 2 direct deposits in the first 90 days! So we feel like it’s worth it to take advantage of this!

    We’ve been making our meals using foods exclusively using our pantry storage without supplementing it from the store! Among other things, we made beef pot pie, IP spaghetti, grilled ham slices, IP mashed potatoes, cranberry spinach salad and black bean taco soup.
    I see that I have some cottage cheese in the fridge that I should use up so I think tonight we’ll have Miracle Lasagna and a salad. That will be a Use It Up meal because I want to use the salad greens before they wilt! I’m on a mission to rotate things through the fridge as efficiently as I so with foods in the basement pantry that I have stored! Still a work in progress but I’m not noticing much being tossed out from the fridge these days because it’s “expired”! Always room for improvement, it seems! Lol

    I need to replenish my baking mixes! I’ve been using them up- muffins for breakfast in moments, corn bread, cookies. Mixes, for me, are a way I can still enjoy convenience but save tons of money over the years compared to buying baked goods or even DIY baking mixes from the store! I alway tell people that I’m lazy and cheap but I still want good quality! Lol! This is a way to do all 3!
    Spring is around the corner for us so we are looking forward to putting in potatoes this week! Hope everyone is find reasons to have hope and joy in the abundant blessings we sometimes don’t even notice!

    Gardenpat in Ohio
    HandmadeinOldeTowne.com

    ,

  10. Gosh, it’s nice to see blossoms on your trees! We are just beginning to see some crocus peek through in a spot or two – it’s really exciting!

    I just prepared my lunches to take to work this week. I did the math on this base mix of meat/rice/vegetables, and it cost about $1.50 to make enough for five lunches, thanks to sales, coupons, rebates, and my husband, who puts all that together! I shared the recipe here, with the dinner menu for our week: https://tenthingsfarm.blogspot.com/2021/03/this-weeks-dinner-menu-plus-easy-lunch.html

    We went for lots of walks this week for exercise – I put in just over 20 miles. While we walk, we talk through things, which is nice. If I walk alone, I listen to free audiobooks from the library or free podcasts. We borrowed books from the library as well.

    I made a card for my dad for his birthday, and sent him gift cards for gasoline, so he can go for drives (something he really enjoys). My husband got the gift cards through a program with one of our credit cards, and paid only 25% of the value of the cards.

    We made soups, corn bread, salad dressing, tostada shells, chili and more, all from scratch. It was a yummy week!

    We went through our monthly expenses, and are really happy with most of them. We keep our utility costs down by heating with (free for the gathering and cutting) firewood, dressing warmly, all that. We hang our laundry on the line to dry, even in winter. We did notice that our cost for our home phone has bumped up again. We all have smartphones now, and we’re considering getting rid of the Ooma for at home. It’s not terribly expensive, but it is redundant, and since our internet is not super strong here (Ooma is a VOIP), the reception is not the best. We’re also looking at taking a Netflix break. When we asked our kiddo, they didn’t think they would miss it, and we are not using it so much either. If you use free options for TV that you like, I’d love to hear about them. We can get a few via our library, and we’re going to explore all that, then likely take a ‘break’ from Netflix (and never return)

    I listed and sold some things on Facebook. I’ll be removing some old listings and putting those things in the donation box for whenever we go to town again. I also bought 4 cooling towels, all new in sealed packaging, from a lady on Facebook. I checked reviews and prices online first – they get good reviews, and the best price I found was $5 each plus shipping. I got all 4 for $6, so I was happy with that price. I tried one and it works really well for me. Since we do a lot of gardening and outside work in the summer (plus our walks), I think these will be a big help. It’s like personal air conditioning!

    Our menu plan (and that easy recipe!) are up on my little blog – visitors welcome!

    1. Try Pluto.tv, a streaming service. They have a lot of news channels, movies, and old TV shows. There are multiple channels dedicated to one program, whether it be comedy, crime, drama, etc. I’m currently binging on Midsomer Murders. The shows are NOT current but they are free entertainment and they have an on-demand feature, too. Lively Place is another good channel and they have a great show on Thursday nights called Tiny House Nation.

    2. Our son was married outdoors last August, due to the pandemic—otherwise they had previously planned for a church wedding. We are in the South, and the temps were beastly hot! A friend of mine purchased cooling towels, and gave me several to use. At one point before the wedding my future daughter in law was so hot in her long wedding gown, I was afraid she was going to faint. I quickly pulled out a cooling towel and started patting her forehead, neck, etc. It made a world of difference! She couldn’t believe how much better it made her feel!

  11. Beautiful photos. Spring is finally arriving in the Seattle area, with sun and slightly warmer weather this week. I am so glad!

    I haven’t posted in a while, so this covers the last month or so. Many, many hours during this time were spent sorting and clearing out my mom’s condo in preparation for her move to a senior living center. I am happy to report that she is all moved now, and everything went well. It was a tremendous amount of work and I am still tired. But my mom is happy and we are done. So I am very thankful.

    I ended up with many items my mom did not take with her to her new residence: her Bernina sewing machine (that I learned to sew on as a child), an old but very sturdy Kitchenaid mixer, a beautiful oak bookcase, the fancy silverware set we used at every holiday meal, cake decorating tools, notepads/cards/envelopes, and other household and family items. I took at least nine trips to Goodwill to donate other household things. My mom also gave me a bunch of food that she no longer needs, as the senior living place serves them three meals a day.

    During this same period, my husband left his job due to burnout. This was not a surprise, and we were prepared as I had stocked up on food, clothing and other needed items over the past year. So, we are both unemployed for now, and living off savings. We will take the COBRA health insurance option offered by his former employer. It will be interesting to see what the future brings.

    Other frugal accomplishments:
    – Found a birthday card in my stash to send to a friend, but the envelope I had was slightly too short. So I sliced a tiny bit off the bottom of the card to make it fit. Also had a bunch of random sized envelopes with no cards, so I have repurposed those as scratch paper.
    – Got my cash back of several hundred dollars from a credit card. Got my dividend from my REI credit card. These monies will be put to good use.
    – Our local coop had grass fed butter for $2 a pound, which was 75% off. This was a great deal, so I bought a bunch.
    – QFC, our local upscale Kroger, had asparagus for $1.28 a pound. I bought two pounds and made a big batch of asparagus soup (yum!). The sale goes until tomorrow, so I may go pick up some more.
    – I met two friends at a local garden center for a masked, socially distant get together. It was so nice to see them! There was a sale on primroses, so I got six of them to plant in my established planters. I stayed within the $10 I had budgeted.

    Hope everyone has a great week.

  12. We had some out of town friends stop by on Sunday-they brought us some onions, garlic and squash from their daughters garden which we gratefully accepted-can’t beat free organic produce! We have filed tax returns for our daughter and my Mum( they both got refunds due to the AB carbon tax incentive) and my husband has done his US returns. Our Canadian ones are done too-but I can’t quite bear to submit until we have to at the end of April as we owe quite a bit for the first time-I think it is mainly due to some of the govt Covid relief money we received-we did put $ aside but….
    I can book my Covid shot this week if I want the Astra Zeneca but I think I might wait until I can get the Pfizer. DH can book his next week. Off to the dentist on Wed as a filling I got 2 weeks ago still feels a bit tender so I think it is best to get it checked. Speaking of gardening my friend built some cedar planter boxes for my Mum’s balcony and she was thrilled to get them-she is looking forward to growing tomatoes and flowers.
    Our weather has been much more spring like of late which is a nice change. I am planning a family reunion for my Mum’s 90th-we will either celebrate at Xmas or summer of 2022-whenever most of the 5 kids can come.

  13. Still cleaning and decluttering, trying to make room and finding space for the stuff I’m keeping. I did sell a few more items, made over $1200 all together. Which makes me thankful I didn’t give into the urge to toss it all in the trash.lol

    I’ve even been able to do a few small projects. Haven’t done anything creative in a long time. I was looking for something to work with and was digging in the thrift store pile. Shopping at home.☺ I’m actually doing well reusing stuff.

    Did my taxes, had a lot of changes last year but had enough withheld that I’m getting a refund. Even having to pay taxes for the grocery gift cards I won. I was prepared to pay out of pocket for this.

    Was given two damaged pictures, will use the frames. Saved me a trip to the thrift store for frames.

    Went to the store and had a deal to spend $150 and get 20% off. I stocked up on items not often bought. I ended up spending over that and got $57 off, plus I used one of the last gc.

    This was also the first time I’ve been to the store since they started the new monopoly game. It is very different. You still get game cards but the only way to play is to scan them. I received hot dog and hamburger buns, 2 bottle water, 2 French bread, vinegar, and $3. All these were added to the store card to use when shopping. Even the coupons you get are scanned and added to the card. I think this will be less work for employees because you don’t have to trade in coupons for prizes. Not sure it will help the sponsors though. With coupons in hand it’s easier for me to look for products. Not seeing the coupons might mean I forget about it unless it’s something I already buy. Last year we tried franks red hot sauce because of the sale. We like it better than what we did use. So in this case the advertising worked.

  14. What beautiful blossoms! I can’t wait to see your garden pictures later this week. Our sand pear tree suddenly opened up blooms seemingly overnight, and in another day, or so it seemed, they were gone and leaves are coming in. We normally get a nice week of full bloom, but not this year. I think there will be a small harvest this year, if any — we still get the occasional apple cedar rust on this tree, which ruins the fruit.

    Our loquats survived the winter freezes and we are starting to get ripe loquats. If we can reach enough, I may make some loquat puree.

    My food co-op gave us a coupon for one free item every week this month, and I made sure I stopped by to get my first week’s free item, a bottle of olive oil. I also shopped for the things I normally buy there, such as spices, which I can get for so much less because they are offered in bulk.

    I cooked a pork roast and a beef roast at once in the oven, and added a pan of fresh turkey patties that I’d mixed with onion, garlic and spices to cook until they were done.

    I drove to another town for an appointment, and while there, located an Aldi nearby. I didn’t find that much to buy at this store, but I got a quarter for putting up someone else’s cart left in the lot with its quarter (the carts require a quarter to use). I purchased about four items that I knew were a bargain.

    I gave myself a manicure. I don’t do polish, but I try to keep my nails and cuticles in good shape.

    I refilled a quart bottle of Dr. Bronner’s Sal Suds from a gallon jug I had ordered, and paid for with Swag Bucks.

    Speaking of Swagbucks, I made two purchases at work going through Swagbucks, and will be getting almost $20 in Swagbucks in my account. One of the online stores I used had a 13 for one promotion going on, which helped tremendously. I also saved my office some money using a coupon from the SB shopping site.

    I did our taxes. We tithe but still don’t have enough deductions to use anything but the standard deduction, so our form is the basic one and the software was free to use because of that. We’ll get some back, but not a ton, which is fine with us.

    My husband kept a black cherry tomato plant alive all winter indoors — he cut it back to a stub at the start of the colder weather and brought it inside under a grow light. It’s now big and thriving and has given him two cherry tomatoes so far. He also has other types of tomatoes well started as sturdy, foot high plants, and has given several away to family. He started them all from seed we had.

    I’m looking forward to the garden pictures and to reading other’s comments.

  15. This is the last few days before my pay period and it has been a hard month.
    I found out the problem with the city water “problem” I’ve had for months. My water bill had jumped up over $20. every month since October.
    It seems that 2 of the city workers had been estimating some of our bills for months and months. Once they were caught doing this they were dismissed.
    The new workers came in when the weather brought everything to a standstill here in Texas. It has been a mess.
    It seems my bill will go up. Since I pay the minimum it is going to be something I have to deal with.
    My plumbing was stopped up after the thaw. I didn’t have any broken pipes, but it took a few days to get it fixed. Thank goodness for Jake. There was no cost to me for his work.
    I have accepted food gifts. This has saved me money and car usage. There is no grocery in our village so buying means going 15 to 30 minutes away for shopping.
    It is warming again here. With all of the time spent looking I am finding it harder to find plants and seeds. I am seeing lots of “sold out for the season” signs. *sigh*
    Two of my daughters gave back money they owed me. It was very needed. I would have run short with the high electric and water bills.
    I’ve read a few books free this month.
    I’ve listened to some audible books while I worked.
    I am sewing Easter things. These are free to me as I make them out of left over scraps from other projects.
    I have been content to stay at home. This saves lots of money. When I leave the house the 2 grandbabies that live here go with me. There is money spending when they are with me. *laughing*
    I love your pictures Brandy. Are you selling prints?

    1. I am looking at a plan to sell prints online through my photography website. I still need to iron out the details, but it’s something I would like to do this year!

      1. I would be excited to see prints of your photos available for sale!! They are art and would hang beautifully in any home.

      2. Oh…good. I would love to have some of your florals for my bedroom. Your pinks and purples are lovely.
        I am excited for this to happen.
        I have wanted some of your photos for years.
        Please let me know when they are available.
        Thank you.

    2. Hi Becky,
      I’m curious, what part of Texas do you ive in. We moved to San Antonio from California in January 2020. Right before covid hit.

  16. My mom sent over tomatoes, renuit air freshener thing, cornbread mix, pancake mix, sauerkraut, tea bags, and a TV dinner.

    Put a stack of fast food napkins in my truck to use as kleenex

    Put leftovers into the freezer in a timely manner.

    Returned a library book on time to avoid late fees.

    Used some no rush shipping credits from Amazon to buy a couple books for my Kindle.

    Made sure to enter receipts on my refund apps. I got kind of lazy for awhile and would forget.

    Found 2 packs of pork chops marked down $3 each from their original price. Divided them up into 4 dinner servings.

    Walmart substituted my 3 pound bag of chicken with a 5 pound bag for the same price on my pick up order.

    Used Walgreens points for $5 off my items.

    Had to replace my trash can this week and that was not cheap, lol. It’s been awhile since I had to buy one.

  17. Hi Brandy and everyone
    Sounds like you’re making progress in the garden and making savings too.
    My husband features heavily this week, he’s working hard in the garden etc. He has sown more seeds including tomatoes, zinnias and sunflowers. He took down the old framework for raspberries and built a new one and tied the canes in. One of his gardening clients asked him to take stuff to the tip, when he saw this included some big plastic pots he asked if we might have them and they kindly agreed. He spread our homemade compost over several garden beds.
    He also bought a new rope cord and replaced the fraying one on our indoor overhead airer ( called a Sheila Maid).
    We pulled carrots, parsnips and leeks from the garden.
    I sold an item on eBay. I really want to try and step this up.
    The tea I like to drink had £2 off a big box so I stocked up. I bought a cheaper cocoa powder, Lidls own brand, which I expect will be fine for baking.
    I had a big baking week! I made us a lemon drizzle cake, chocolate cupcakes and blackcurrant crumble. I made a chocolate sponge with chocolate icing and mini chocolate eggs on top, this was a thank you cake for some help given to our daughter and I did a doorstep drop off. I made a second batch of chocolate cupcakes to take to a young friend I met for a socially distanced walk.
    I took lots of stuff to the tip.
    I moved furniture around to make a sunny reading corner and repurposed a hamper as a side table next to the chair. We keep falling asleep in the sunshine!
    I bought lily bulbs at wholesale prices and three large ceramic pots for half price at the garden centre. Our daughter’s mother in law is moving to our county and I’m going to plant up one of the pots with lilies as a housewarming present for her.
    I won £25 on the premium bonds, my husband won £50.
    I sent away for a selection of greetings cards which were reduced price and when they arrived an extra card was included free with an apology for late delivery. I didn’t think they were late but I’m happy to have the extra card.
    It feels it’s been quite a spendy week but we save where we can to enable us to spend on our priorities, like a pretty and productive garden. I appreciate how lucky we are.
    Stay safe all.

  18. Brandy, you are simply amazing! Love your garden story as it progresses! The yogurt idea in the pancakes is so wonderful! I am fully vaccinated, but I am always afraid I will pick up a variant in court, and pass it on to my vulnerable family members, so I limit my contact with others. My daughter was a state epidemiologist so she has made me aware of being very careful with our health vulnerable family members, who have not been able to be vaccinated yet, so I am still doing grocery delivery, as much as possible. I did a quick masked run into the grocery store for fresh carrots and radishes, which I cut up and take to work to eat, along with my sandwich. Cheese was on sale so I bought some for my work sandwich. I made bbq baked beans, coleslaw from cabbage I also bought, and potato salad. I bought little tomatoes also. I did not buy any meat because I did not need any, I have plenty in my little frig top freezer. It has been in the 70’s and I have been enjoying walking for exercise. It will be back into the 80’s later this week. I am so excited to hear you will be posting pictures of your garden!!! I love the spring, it is a time of renewal.

  19. Hello everyone, I hope you had a good week.

    I LOVE using yogurt in my pancakes. Several years ago an Australian friend taught me a simple pancake recipe using only self-rising flour, yogurt, and eggs. I don’t even remember or use the measurements anymore; I just eyeball the ingredients and adjust for texture. I mainly use thick Greek yogurt, so I often add a few spoonfuls of milk to thin it out. I also like it with a little sugar and vanilla extract added to the batter. It has more protein than traditional pancakes and keeps you full longer.

    Self-rising flour, IMO, is a wonderful ingredient. It seems more popular in British recipes than in American and I’m not sure why. It’s simply flour to which a leavening agent has already been added. Since I have a full-time job and am always trying to strike a balance between saving money and saving time, I buy self-rising flour and find it an essential shortcut that makes it possible to bake from scratch more often. One can also easily make it at home by combining 1.5 tsp of baking powder for every cup of all-purpose flour.

    1. In Canada (and I imagine the US), self-rising flour is not available. When using UK recipes, I have to look up an equivalency to get the right amount of leavening to add to all purpose flour. Also, stores don’t carry castor sugar, though occasionally it is available as berry sugar.

      1. It is definitely less available in the U.S. than all-purpose flour. Our stores also don’t usually carry castor sugar. But I drool over British recipes!

      2. Most stores in the NW of the US sell self-rising flour, but usually it’s in small bags and more expensive than all-purpose. I don’t have a problem adding baking powder, so I never buy SR–plus I would have to convert most of my recipes if I did.

        You may read British blogs and recipes that mention “strong” flour. It means that hard winter wheat, which is grown in Canada and the US, is added to their local wheat when ground into flour. As I understand it, British wheat is soft and makes better pastry than bread. All purpose flour has some winter wheat added, and bread flour has a lot more. I am not much of a bread-baker, but all purpose has worked for me.

        1. Self-rising is easy to come by in the US deep south. I know some women who never use anything else, since they don’t make pie crusts or yeast breads. They make biscuits and corn bread with it a lot.

          Castor sugar, I’m told, is what in the US is sold as “superfine” sugar, which isn’t common on every store’s sugar shelf, but I’ve definitely seen it for sale. I’m not an expert on the sugar issue, but I can say with confidence that I’ve always been able to find self-rising flour quite easily in the parts of the upper and lower US south where I’ve lived. I don’t buy it because I use all-purpose flour in so many recipes that can’t use self-rising, and so I just add the leavening to AP flour instead of keeping two kinds of flour on my shelf.

      3. Hi Elizabeth M.

        Some places in Canada (even Alberta) do carry self-rising flour. As to caster/castor sugar, I wonder what would happen if one tried to grind ordinary sugar so that it’s finer.

        1. Hi
          You can make ordinary sugar into caster sugar by whizzing it in a food processor for a few seconds, not too much or it becomes confectioners sugar.

  20. What progress you are making with the yard renovation! I like what you did with the greek yogurt for pancakes, as I didn’t know that could be done. It just so happens I have some greek yogurt to try this with this week.
    2 older relatives (married) peacefully passed a few months (and a year) back. A family member was helping clean out their house and gifted me with a few items that were handmade by them or definitely have some sentimental value to me. I had received 2 handmade quilts from this. One was my grandmother’s and was on her bed as long as I can recall, the other was a quilt my mother always loved but had been kept in cedar chests all my mothers life. I gave my mom that quilt and kept my grandmother’s. There were also some useful day-to-day items that I personally needed to replace and now have thanks to family.
    I made fabric boxes from this pattern (https://www.applegreencottage.com/sew-a-basket/) to use for gifting (as the packaging), and to use up some of my fabric stash. Also, it was a nice way to enjoy s a rainy afternoon.
    I continue to collect warm-up water to use in the kettle.
    Hope everyone has a calm week!

  21. I can’t wait to see photos of your garden progress!

    After doing a pantry challenge in February, we had eaten all the frozen meals and soups in the house freezer, as well as eaten all the frozen veggies! So last week I started making batches of soup again to fill it up ;). Chili, chicken noodle and beef barley all made an appearance and I feel better knowing I have “takeout” options at night if I am not inspired to cook. I finished and filed our taxes and was happy with the larger than expected refund. It will make a big dent in getting our exterior painted this summer. I had planned to get the painting done next year but with the refund and the Covid extra money, we should be able to do it this year. We shall see, there are always surprises 😉

    1. Hilogene, I will be sharing photos from my white garden in the front yard. You can see some of the progress we’ve made on the backyard on my Instagram account: https://www.instagram.com/theprudenthomemaker/

      Right now the backyard is a lot of taking out rocks, making a couple of huge piles of them, and then taking them to the dump.

  22. What beautiful pink blossoms! I’ll be thinking of you with the cuttings. I hope they root this time. I admire your patience to wait and do your hedges the frugal but longer way. You’ll have so much satisfaction, I’m sure, as they fill out.

    It’s been a good week here. Homemade bread, soup, making meals ahead, finding creative ways to group leftovers together. Our waffle iron died, and we decided to go with the old-fashioned stove-top waffle irons from ebay rather than getting a new electric one. They certainly are sturdy and easy to clean, and only $10 each. I was skeptical, but I’m a fan.

    I planted some pansy and viola seed from Pinetree seeds. I hope they germinate for me. I potted on tiny seedlings from our salad greens that I germinated. I think we may have 400 batavian endive plants! I’ve never tasted it before, but I love it already, if only out of determination and for its germination rate. Spinach, claytonia, mâche also, though less numerous. The tatsoi croaked unfortunately. We did the same with parsley and celery – germinating tons of seeds close together in pots on the heat mat and then pricking them out when an inch high – and now we have 140 baby plants of each, nicely separated. I was amazed how little root shock they seemed to have. And the salad greens in the unheated greenhouse are alive despite their cold week last week! So, much reason for gratitude.

    A neighbor came by yesterday and admitted she hadn’t enough money to buy food, as her part-time work has dried up with COVID. It was a good reminder for me, one, of all the many ways to help, and two, how very, very blessed we are to have food and warmth and clothes and loving family.

    Thank you for all the wonderful ideas! Wishing you a good week.

      1. Oh good – thanks, Becky! They had such pretty varieties in the pictures. I’m looking forward to them.

  23. Things left out from last week’s posting: Restocked some things to cabinet from pantry items, finished clearing out items from one half of the top shelf of the linen closet and stored bathroom extras there, and deep vacuumed most of the rest of the main floor and dusted. My husband and I cleared out our halves of the bathroom cabinet and threw out expired items. Took out two storage containers that were not needed and I put most of my things in a cylindrical piece of pottery which looks nice and makes things easy to get. I gathered all extra large bandages and took them to the main storage area. While there I combined smaller bandages into one large box and recycled the other boxes. As I was in the mood to get some big things done I bought some individual salads for one day. I felt what I could get done not having to cook/clean outweighed the price. I was sore and tired the next couple days but it was worth it.

    For this week, I cleared the top cabinets of one side of the kitchen. I donated a gift from long ago and some multiples of other items. I ordered computer batteries for two laptops and hearing aid batteries; all items were less than the price of one of the computer batteries in November and free shipping. I cleared more items from our office, including warranties and manuals from old items that have been replaced the last couple months. I took donations from the last 2 weeks to Goodwill.

    We ate freezer meals with vegetables. I made sheet pan eggs for breakfast sliders and had enough eggs to freeze for one more and long slices for several meals with toast. I made a Reuben casserole for a couple meals and have 2 helpings left over. I canned baby lima beans and froze some hamburger patties. My husband is having to work different hours for a couple weeks so we are eating dinner at lunch. I actually like it as I eat less at night!

    I walked by myself in the neighborhood one night. We took an hour walk on Sunday afternoon. Have a wonderful week!

  24. We are moving into our new home a week from today, after a year of renovations and delays. My husband and I have been helping the workers get things done: he’s installing the appliances and plumbing, I am painting, and we both spent a day staining and varnishing stair treads. We still have a lot to do but we aren’t going to wait any longer! We’ve been staying in a furnished one bedroom apartment. The lease is up on the 12th and rather than move again for a few days, we are taking camping cots to sleep in our new home for three days until the furniture gets out of storage. I’m not going to the grocery store this week to eat up much of when we have in the fridge so we don’t need to move it.
    I finished knitting a cardigan sweater for me with gifted yarn. The sweater is being blocked and I will sew the seams together in a few days.
    I had a window seat built into our new space. I check with an upholsterer about making a window cushion (I ruined my old Bernina sewing machine making masks). The upholstery work was expensive and 2-3 months out. I asked a friend who has an industrial sewing machine if she could take on the work. She said yes–and that she wouldn’t take any money for it. I found fabric at a discounted upholstery center and need to buy the foam, cording, and zipper. While there are still expenses involved, it will be about 1/3 the cost of what I was quoted and the work will get done more quickly. I am grateful for her kindness.
    I also finished knitting a cowl to donate.
    Thank you for all of your positive posts!

    1. When my parents moved across the country, the moving van arrived a few days after we did. I was only three, but I remember that we slept on the carpet in my parents’ room with them for a few nights, and my mom went across the street to borrow a few toys for us to play with until the van arrived. A cot sounds like a luxury!

      1. That’s a sweet memory!
        The cots will be luxurious! But my bones are older than three years, so they will appreciate the chance to sleep on a cot for a few nights. I am so looking forward to sleeping in my own bed again after eight and a half months. I feel like moving this time is a sort of giving birth….

  25. Our oldest daughter, husband and two children came to visit! Their children practiced wearing masks at home so they would wear them on the plane. (They are two and four). They did so great! It has been so fun.
    She and our daughter who lives locally with our other two grandchildren planned a lovely birthday party for me last week! I love Amish romance books and reading about Amish culture so that put together an Amish party for me! They made bonnets and aprons for the girls and ladies and got straw hats for the men boys. They used fabric for a bunting and the centerpiece. They made a delicious dinner and scrumptous cake. One of the games ended up making butter in a mason jar while guessing clues about my life. It was just so simple and fun and I loved it. My presents were yarn and books and I felt very seen and appreciated.
    We’ve stayed home and played with grandchildren. We’ve cooked all our meals at home.
    My daughter who is visiting loves to be helpful so she is helping me declutter. First was our front closet where we sorted years of outerwear, threw some out and washed and donated more. It’s much more tidy and usable. I’m so grateful for the help. Big projects are hard for me.
    Got out the St. Patrick’s Day decoration box and put a few things around that we already had.
    Hope everyone has a wonderful and thrifty week?

  26. Speaking of using yoghurt in recipes, my 6 year old grandson loves cheese in all forms, and especially Kraft Dinners. (yes I always put veggies on that plate as I admit KD is not very nutritious)
    So one day I added some vanilla greek yogurt along with the milk and yellow powder. He was very taken with this variation, annnouncing “Gramma you make the Best Cheese Dinners in the world! ”
    He made my day! Busy week up here making soups and casseroles in preparation for a visit from a teenage grandson (also has been isolating) over Spring Break. ) He will help me with garden cleanup and chores, so blessed to have that boy. ann

  27. I hope your spring cuttings work better! I have been experimenting with my collard tree cuttings. The cuttings I took in the fall have grown slowly. They are now a similar size to the cuttings that I took a few weeks ago. I’ve always put the cuttings directly in the soil, but one day when I was very busy I put a batch of cuttings in a cup of water on my windowsill. Those cuttings grew roots within a week. I was really excited to see them! I think the cup of water will be my preferred method from now on.
    This week I’ve been trying to finish some projects and not take on new ones! I start a new job this week, three days a week, which is plenty with my sewing business as well. I have packed my lunches for the week and made sure I still fit into some office-type pants.
    I put in some time to wipe the memory on 2 old iphones and 2 ipods (ones our kids had used a few years ago) and find all their details (model #’s, storage amounts, etc). I listed them on ebay and both phones and one ipod sold within 3 hours. I have them all packed to mail tomorrow. I’m very pleased!
    Paypal has a referral offer right now, when you refer someone and they open a new account and spend $5, both you and the friend receive a $10 credit. I completed this and received my credit yesterday.
    I get photos printed for free when there’s an offer on. I try and take some pretty pictures of scenery, which I then use to make cards with. I used one such card to send to my mother-in-law for Mother’s Day in England this coming Sunday.
    Picked up a new package of Breathe Right strips from Buy Nothing group.
    I made a ‘no-fog on your glasses’ mask from a pattern I found online. I wanted to send it to my aunt, who has terrible trouble with fogged glasses. She wanted adjustable ear straps on it. I didn’t have the supplies for that, but my husband was given a mask at work that had adjustable straps. I removed those straps and used them on my aunt’s mask. I then put new straps on my husbands mask-we both really like ear straps from knit fabric. It’s by far the most comfortable material, and it’s free since we have many old t-shirts. The mask folds up small, it fit into a regular envelope and weighs under an ounce. It will be very cheap to mail.

  28. –I was delighted to be able to get outside and work in the yard a bit during the mild weather we have had this week. I worked on the raised bed that I planted last fall. I removed weeds and planted a few other items to fill it in around the plants that survived. I also planted the 2 new raised beds my husband built this past winter. Pictures and a more detailed list of what I planted are on my blog: http://beckyathome.com
    –We have been talking for 2 years about taking down the fig tree out front. It was getting rotten, and a part broke off this winter. Today was the day to cut down the rest. My husband cut it in increments, using a pole chain saw, then a regular chain saw. I took the firewood to a different location to wait until the shed is emptied of old wood. Then, it will be put in with other fresh wood we will cut. Branches are all over the yard, but I tried to lay them in places so we can still get around them if needed. We have borrowed a trailer to haul them away, after Rob and a neighbor do a joint dump run so they can share the dump fee. The branches will be hauled to my sister’s farm where they will be burned. Right at the end, the chain saw stopped working, so Rob’s been calling friends and watching U-Tube and thinks he can fix it tomorrow so he can finish the job.
    –Rob made waffles for dinner, since we were pretty tired.
    –We were offered 1/2 a small pig that a guy Rob knows wasn’t able to sell, for the price of cut and wrap. (He raises several pigs each year and there was just that 1/2 left over, unsold, this time) Now we have 80 pounds of pork residing in our freezer for a little over $1/pound.
    –We attended a small family party and saw some relatives that we had not seen for 1, and in a couple of cases, 2, years. I especially enjoyed the 2 new great nephews. One turned 1, and the other 2, within days of each other. It certainly brought life to the party! We took trucks and balls as gifts, that Rob found on a great sale, and the kids loved them. They looked sturdy and I know they were a better option than Dollar Store toys in this case. I’d rather give less gifts, of higher quality, then more gifts that fall apart quickly to little boys for their birthdays. Don’t get me wrong–there’s many times that Dollar Store items are my go-to. It depends on the occasion and what I want the item for.

  29. Hello Everyone!
    I’ve never tried yogurt pancakes before, but use it often in muffins. They’re moist and have a higher protein content. Ina Garten has a really great blueberry muffin recipe that I found online. My kids gobble them!

    I harvested chard, turnips, carrots, and scallions this week. I tried a new recipe for herb roasted turnips which I liked as a dinner side dish. I added chard and scallions to omelettes and we had sautéed chard as a side dish. Garden fresh is the best!

    Our four hens are now producing 3 eggs daily. We’ve got a bit of overflow so omelets, egg sandwiches, hard boiled eggs and deviled eggs are on the menu! The girls received turnip tops, kitchen peels and garden snails found eating my chard. They came to the wrong garden! 🚫🐌

    I spent most of the weekend in my garden amending soil and transplanting indoor starts. I spent last week hardening them off and so far, so good. I estimate I saved over $400 starting my own veggies compared to an average cost of $3.50 per plant. I’m trying green and red mulch this year for tomatoes and cucumbers. It’s supposed to warm the soil and increase yields. Coastal weather is a constant 60-70 degree range in spring and summer. My blueberry plants are full of flowers. I can’t wait to have some! 😋 The asparagus crowns planted last year have asparagus shoots this year. But, I have to wait one more year to harvest them.

    My husband continues to work on our bathroom remodel. He has been adding insulation, doing drywall work and building shower/bath niches. The plumber discovered a leaky pipe to fix (old plumbing) that was dripping water into the crawlspace. That should help our water bill as well.

    Exercise at home saves a bundle. I’m currently trying a 30 day trial for the Peleton app. You don’t need their equipment to use it. Variety is nice! Today I have a trip to the dentist for a cleaning covered by insurance. I have another doctor appointment Friday. Prevention saves health and money! 💵

    Have a blessed and beautiful week everyone!

  30. Brandy, thank you for sharing your big project. I told myself last week, “If she can shovel a mountain load of dirt and take care of her children, I can get off of the couch!”

    *This past week I was able to visit Mom in her room at the assisted living facility (they are FINALLY wide open and out of lockdown). I cleaned out her closet, cabinets, and drawers as I have been promising to do for a year now. Since she is almost blind, I handed her every item (and there were many shoved in corners) and she decided what she wanted to keep. One bag went into the trash, another was donated and two went to a lady who is Mom’s size. I never realized it but shampoo, conditioner, hand sanitizer, dish detergent, lotion, and body soap all feel and smell the same if you can’t read the label. I sorted them into different drawers so she will know the difference. I did find a bag of sugar-free Reese’s Peanutbutter cups which went straight to my purse.

    *Hubby trimmed thorny branches close to the drive to avoid tire punctures. It really wore him out but at least he can do something now.

    *He also gave himself a haircut or should I say a scalping? He used the shortest guard and is now bald. He said it was hot when he did it and now he is cold all the time. So did we save money since the heat is turned on now?

    *We didn’t eat out this week and I packed lunches when we ran errands. I made lunches every day for Dustin to take to work.

    *Baked bread twice in the bread machine. Has anyone noticed store-bought bread is not tasting as good now? We are switching around trying different brands but some of them have a flavor that seems to be off. I know the wheat crop last year was dismal and that might be the reason but I am just asking if anyone else knows anything.

    *I bought another pork roast for $.98 a pound from another store and canned more pulled pork (salt, pepper, onion powder, and garlic cloves added to each jar). They are delicious and easy to grab for a meal. The bone went into the crockpot overnight for broth.

    *Canned dried black-eyed peas and white beans to have ready in the cupboard.

    *My oldest son is trying to get healthy so he is coming down once a week for a homecooked meal. I am sending him back with a massive bowl of salad from the garden that will last him all week long. It so big I said no one could possibly eat it all but he did. He said he felt better but I think he was just saying that so I would do it again. I can make great salads – had so much experience.

    *In the garden, I have planted onions, garlic, leeks, and spinach. Never tried it this early before. We shall see.
    http://getmetothecountry.blogspot.com/2021/03/hungry-hungry-horses.html
    Jeannie@GetMeToTheCountry

  31. The last month (or maybe two?) I needed more self-care time. I am glad to be back! The weather is getting warm enough for playground time. I am so thankful we know a handful of other families who like playing at the playground. Going to the playground is our summer activity. A homeschool group I am in has started a gardening discussion group and it has made me realize HOW much I have learned here! This year I have decided I am going to keep to what I know for the garden. In May I will plant bush bean seeds and tomato plants I purchase.

  32. We have worked hard to keep our grocery budget low while eating things we love. It is nice that my family likes Mexican and Asian flavors, since I can add rice to stretch things. Cabbage is a staple ingredient for us, and is thankfully cheap and healthy. I often make an Asian coleslaw recipe that we all like. I’m trying to get my oldest to like bone in chicken, but he still prefers BLSL. I can still make things like pulled BBQ chicken or chicken salad with the meat and he will eat it.

    We had a birthday to celebrate this week for our youngest this week (He woke up today doing is “I’m five” birthday dance!). He requested pie for his birthday treat, so I made a chess pie and served it with fresh strawberries. He loved it! The recipe made enough custard for two pies, so I put the other one in the freezer for a later date. He also just wanted a play date with his buddy from preschool, so we planned that at a local park for tomorrow evening. It will make for a nice celebration, and low key. I’m making chicken salad, crackers, veggies and ranch dip, and taking the chess pie and strawberries. I will purchase some paper plates to keep the mess minimal at the park.

    I’m grateful for the warming spring weather. It allows us to spend more time outside, and I’m glad the school children are getting more time outside as well. Since I teach school, it’s beneficial to get students outside as much as possible with COVID. Teachers are scheduled for vaccines, but not everyone is choosing to get vaccinated, so we still need to be cautious. I’m also grateful that our K-2 students are coming back for 4 days a week, rather than just 2. They desperately need the time in the classrooms and I believe they are also one of our lowest risk populations. Remote learning has worked, but is definitely less effective for this group as a whole.

    I made our menu plan for the month here: https://livinggreensavinggreen.co/ I hope you’ll stop by! Blessings to you all. I’m grateful for this community!

    1. Allyson I made the baked chocolate chip zucchini oatmeal this morning. It is definitely a keeper. I always have an abundance of zucchini! Thanks for shating!

      1. That sounds like a nice problem to have. I have such a hard time growing zucchini in my climate. Mine doesn’t flower.

  33. Hi Penny,
    I have a “Sheila Maid” too. They’re great aren’t they? My Mum and Grans both had them but they called them Maidens.

  34. Nothing like getting a bonus tomato plant that is producing tomatoes! Your pictures are just beautiful. Spring is in full bloom along with pollen season. Planted some bulbs and flowers for summer blooming purchased for a dollar from the Dollar Store. I’ve never bought bulbs from the dollar store, has anyone had success?
    Husband bought a much needed used car online from a dealer store about 400 miles away. (His present car has over 400,000 miles and he has ducked tape the side mirror, etc.) He used Uship online transport which was a great experience that saved him time and $. Several people bid to transport your car to and from your area.

  35. Hi Brandy,
    I just saw your instagram photos pf the garden — it’s looking good. I’m not sure how
    big/small the rocks are but if they were suitable it’s a pity not to advertise them for pick up for someone’s rock garden.

    I have often read about stick rose cuttings into whole potatoes as a way to propagate them. I wonder if it works, and if so it might be useful for you to try. I suspect it is the moisture in the potato…

    It is definitely spring here. Still a little chilly. It is hard to believe that
    the first bluebirds will be back in about three weeks as well as the first of the trumpeter swans stopping over on migration.
    Because of covid, I missed being able to go out to the country last spring to see them and didn’t see the swans on their return in the fall.
    I’m hoping to be vaccinated so that I can go out to the country and see them this year. I am supposed to be able to make an appointment
    next week for the Pfizer vaccine and will have fingers crossed that I do not have an allergic reaction. It is about 50/50 between Pfizer/Moderna and Astro Zeneca that I may react to one ingredient in each. The Pfizer/Moderna’s credit, most of the offending ingredients that were in previous vaccines to which I had a severe reaction have been removed. That is one reason why it is necessary to freeze Pfizer/Moderna.

    Since I am not buying many groceries this month, I am not spending money nor saving it with bargains. Like Elizabeth M.,
    I am finding that there are not many good sale prices.

    My gardener (who also picks up my groceries) has given me a couple of bags of potatoes that she grew. Almost time to make a lot of soup.

    I’ve been busy recording addresses for the pre-orders for our book so that when it is printed we will have a delivery system all worked out. Our treasurer is helping. In the meantime, I am contemplating the re-writing of the part that I lost on my computer.

    I’m going to spend time outside for a good break.

  36. My compost tends to get a bit too mucky and I was just thinking I need to buy some sand to add. Today we were walking our dog and someone had put out 3 50lb bags of play sand! When we got home I jumped in the pick-up truck and grabbed the bags. Nice score!
    I also took a chandelier with lampshades out of the trash and it’s on the way to St. Vincent De Paul Thrift store. It pains me to see people throw away perfectly good items, especially when you can get rid of ANYTHING on CraigsList if you put it in the free section.

    Have a great week everyone and thanks, Brandy.

  37. -I love love love nail polish. My favorite brand retails for $10 and you can get last season for $4 at TJMaxx. Today something told me to stop at Goodwill while I was out doing errands. Got a bag of brand new polish, 31 bottles for $4 so 13 cents a bottle. I’m a happy camper.
    -Met friends 65 miles away for birthday lunch for one of them. I live in rural North MS and my closest running buddies live in MS/AR/TN so there’s a commute when doing fun stuff. Where I live everything is at least 17 miles one-way (except for our local PO) and most things I’m interested in are 60. 2 days before the lunch I placed an online order for Sams Club curbside. It was terrific, only took 5 minutes and $5 tip and I was on my way. As much as I hate Covid I love curbside pickup.

  38. Great to hear about your garden progression. Sounds like you are able to dedicate a lot of time to it each week. Wow about the hedging plants required!

    Our week has been good so far. We went for a long bike ride, play and picnic dinner at the beach. Incidentally ran into some friends there so that was nice to catch up. I went out to dinner with two girlfriends and splurged on Thai dinner. Worth every penny and I had the leftovers for lunch today. We have two birthdays to celebrate this weekend and are also off to the theatre (back section, discounted tickets). Meals again have been sparse this week, however, I’m making a big pumpkin, brown onion and cauliflower soup tonight 🙂.

    Have a great rest of week.

  39. Our frugal accomplishments for the week were:
    *Meals made were leftovers and cereal (sometimes this is the meal of choice for empty nesters 😆), ground turkey with peppers and onions over rice with corn, london broil with baked potatoes and tossed salad, crispy haddock with tossed salad and potatoes, and pork and veggie stirfry with yum yum sauce.
    *Our son’s car bit the dust. We have an extra vehicle, so we took that to him to use until he decides what to do about another vehicle.
    *Walked by myself and with a friend.
    *Accepted 2 packs of donuts, a pack of cupcakes, and 2 free lunches at work.
    *Rode with a friend to a doctor’s appointment and when we returned she asked my hubby and I to join her and her husband for a dinner of subs, which they bought.
    *Cut my own hair and my son’s hair.
    *My dad’s birthday was this week. We had him and my stepmom over for grilled chicken, scalloped potatoes, green beans, homemade bread and pumpkin cake. We sent them home with leftovers. He has everything he wants/needs so he is hard to buy for. He loves RC Cola but they are getting hard to find. We found and bought him a 12pack and he was tickled.
    *My birthday was this week. A friend threw a small brunch for me, which was so nice! She sent home 4 cupcakes with me afterwards.
    *Bought chuck roast for $2.99/lb and Kraft dressing for $.99.

  40. I’m loving all the beautiful things surrounding me. The flowers and trees are blooming. The pastures are a brilliant green and full of different babies. I try to have patience but find myself struggling. Perhaps it’s older age or just the stress surrounding me. I lost my debit card. This card had to be cancelled immediately due to the account it connects to. The bank representative started to read some long drawn out script telling me to call back another time. Meanwhile I’m requesting she not hang up on me. She hung up on me. I’ve been w this bank for 30 years. I called a competitor and asked if they could meet my needs. This representative kindly transferred all 6 of my checking accounts and matching saving accounts over to their bank. They replaced our 10 credit cards w 5 new Discover cards. All accounts at my bank were closed out. This is all and great on my end. I just saved $1200.00 in fees each year . My new accounts have no fee’s of any kind. I was amused that when my money moved from one bank to the other that it alerted customer service. They wanted to talk about me being happy and staying. This is something I should have done a long time ago. Meanwhile I’m trying to.meal plan.i find too much food is being cooked and not consumed. All is well here. My doctor gave me new meds. I used my Kroger rx plan. I’m seeing I was overcharged 50 dollars. I’ll check on that. Our new cellphones look to be overcharged too. I guess tomorrow will be spent on the phone. Every penny counts. I hope everyone is warm and happy.

  41. Cooking at home for the most part. Enjoying the weather. Stargazed for entertainment. Planning a garden. Dug carrots that I left in the fall. I was pleased to see that they were good. In fact, they were very sweet. A family member had a stroke and is now in rehabilitation. We had to go outside of his window and talk to him on our phone. He worried about us because it started raining and lightening. I’ve been praying for a quick recovery. But we are so glad he is alive. It was frustrating to not be able to really visit him. It brought me to tears.

  42. What an amazing week of work Brandy! And thank you for pictures with flowers. Those are always my favorite <3

    *My husband has been scouring several sites and classifieds trying to find us a cocker spaniel to love. I have been so sad about the other one dying a few weeks. We looked at many ads and were considering doing a road trip out of state. The puppies for sale – what sticker shock! No thank you on $$$$ for a puppy. We wanted to support a local shelter or rescue. We discovered that rescues/shelters out of state won't adopt to us since we don't live in the that state. My husband scoured the classifieds, shelters and rescues in our state daily. He discovered a 5-6 year old male that was 40 minutes from us that needed to be re-homed. The price was minimal. The owner included the dog bed, dog food plus an extra bag, his collar and leash, a copy of the current shots, and all the paper info she had on this sweet dog. We named him YoYo – he is a bouncy dog! He also loves to cuddle and go on car rides. He gets along with our other sweet puppy and loves to run around our 1/4 acre 6 foot fenced back yard.

    *I received several groceries/pantry items for free with sales, coupons and Ibotta. I was able to bless my children with some of the items for their own storage needs. I exercised at home and also took several walks around the neighborhood. I made dinner for all my family – 7 people – unexpectedly last week. Everyone wanted to come up and meet the new puppy. I made a hearty casserole to feed all those men! I don't go to the stores on Sunday and was very grateful that I had food to make a good meal. I made up a last box of stuffing and used it as my "crust" on the bottom of a 9 x 13 pan. Then I topped that with leftover mashed potatoes. I topped that with leftover diced celery and carrots and the last of a package of frozen peas. I took leftover chicken tenders and diced them. Put them on top of the casserole. Last I made a quick homemade gravy and put that on top of the whole thing. I've also left the gravy off and topped it with cheese. Made a jello salad with orange jello and pineapple. Pulled banana bread out of the freezer to have with homemade jam or butter. Also opened several cans of green beans to serve with the whole thing. My youngest daughter made a chocolate cake with frosting. No one left hungry. And I had leftover containers that I sent each child home with leftovers.

    *I read several books from the library. I'm excited to read the new book by Charles Finch and Laura Childs this week.

    *I pruned my fruit trees. This will be the year we can get fruit off our trees! They've been planted for two years. I can't wait for my peaches, nectarines and apples!

    *My husband and I renewed our Sams Club membership – which costs money. But we save so much by being careful what we buy there in bulk. One of my favorite things to buy there is gum. I use it for my kids as small gifts for Easter, Christmas or just a fun thing in a gift.

    I hope everyone has a wonderful week! Love this safe place that is here for us to come and enjoy. Thank you Brandy!

    1. My kids were very close to their grandmother, who lived 175 miles away. This was in an era of high long distance phone rates. Although we often called us, long distance wasn’t in her budget, and she wrote us a long letter several times a month. She always taped pieces of gum to the bottom of the letter. My kids loved this, and in their 40s, with their grandmother gone for 16 years, they still remember.

      1. Maxine what a beautiful remembrance from your life. Thanks for sharing the story of that sweet grandmother. I was smiling as I read your account. I can see it in my mind. I had a grandmother who did the same thing.

  43. Greek yoghurt is so handy! It can be mixed with self-raising flour (if the yoghurt is plain) to make a two ingredient pizza crust, or thinned out slightly and used in any recipe that calls for milk. Personally, I just love eating it plain! How useful these meals must be for so many families!

    My frugal week:
    – I made breakfast cookies/energy bites (http://approachingfood.com/my-raw-food-saga-and-taras-awesome-energy-bites/), using healthy pantry ingredients. Sometimes I add in ground flax and shredded coconut as well. I use these to give to my daughter for quick breakfasts, especially when I’m tired. I usually freeze half the batch, and keep the remainder in the fridge to make them last longer.
    I cut my hair into my usual pixie cut. I can’t quite perfect the edges on the back of my head, but it still looks pretty good!
    – I redeemed SB for $10 Cad to my paypal account
    – I spent just over $5 Cad including shipping to buy some bento box lunch picks for my daughter, from wish.com. She’s a bit young for them now, but I want to slowly collect the things I want to make nice lunches for her, when I find them at low prices.

    Looking forward to learning from everyone else, as usual!

  44. Holly, I worked as a home health aide for years and you are on the road to caregiver burnout. Please ask your mom’s Dr. or hospital social worker about referring your mom for home health. Having an aide for just a few hours a week would be a big help. Depending on what type of program she qualifies for, an aide may help with personal care, check her vitals, assist with her meals, and light housework. It would also allow you time to care for yourself. You can’t care for your mom, unless you care for yourself.

  45. I know it’s a little late in the week to post, but I want to share a couple free livestream events. I attended a free Zoom lecture at the National World War I Museum and I saw a couple interesting ones coming up. March 14th at 2:00 is a Zoom on culture, gender and the foodscape in Germany around WWI. March 20th at 10:30 is a family event highlighting a children’s book about women in the US Signal Corps. Both are free and you can find them at theworldwar.org, click “Visit” on the menu, then click on Upcoming Events.
    The other event I have registered for is a Saint Patrick’s Day free livestream concert with Irish singer Kate Purcell. It’s March 17th at 4:00. Go to Tarrytownmusichall.org and click on the concert listed and click “buy tickets” (although it says “buy,” the tickets are free).
    I really enjoyed productions from both these organizations.

  46. It continues to be a spending time in my life. The contractors have been here all week fixing the rain damage to my bedroom ceiling (roof was already replaced) but they have been very helpful and even stopped to fix a doorknob that fell off because it was loose. Of course I could only find one of the three screws it needed–they brought screws and put it back on. By Tuesday they should be finished, my bedroom will be a different color (a light coral) and I can move back into it. I have been sleeping in the back bedroom and I love the lessened road noises. We get a lot of semi trucks driving past.
    My new battery (three months old) died twice in the car last week. It took several days but they replaced it under the warranty. My mechanic just sold the business so I met the new owner–twice already. I mentioned a noise the car was making only when starting up and that cost me $400 but is now fixed. My DD and I are getting new car fever–we bought our cars at the same time (2009) but neither have a lot of miles on them. Her is rusting a bit though.
    We were finally able to schedule our Covid vaccinations–but not until May 22. We still intend to try for a sooner date if we can get in. DD and I have the same time and day but her husband’s is the following day. It’s 50 minutes drive each way so that is slightly annoying but the best we could do. The assisted living where my husband is had re-opened for visitation but it lasted less than a week–a staff member came down with Covid and they stopped it again. We had the chance to take my husband out for the dentist and an in the car picnic of his favorite BBQ. He didn’t eat much but he seemed to enjoy it. We got more time with him than a visit would have allowed. He didn’t talk much and seemed a bit overwhelmed at the drive, and he willing went back when our time was up. Better than trying to talk to him on the phone, at least. He has another appointment on April 1st so we will see him again then. My grand-daughter will try to meet us for what will be dinner the next time. She had appointments scheduled at work and was disappointed at not being able to see him. Her birthday was this week and she was also bummed that he couldn’t come for that. She turned 29!
    We surely enjoyed a taste of spring this week, but it’s back to winter now with cold wind but no snow at least. My snowdrops are up and the tulips and daffodils and other spring bulbs are showing shoots peeking through the mud. Always promising!!
    Last Sunday I had a quick trip to the ER with irregular heartbeats which resulted in 2 tests this past week and tomorrow I go to the cardiologist for results, having moved my next appointment up by about a month. I’ve been feeling fine ever since so I’m not expecting anything big tomorrow. The small skin cancer I had removed a couple weeks ago has almost completely healed already. It’s on the top of my left hand. The plastic surgeon says most of them are on the left hand/arm because that’s the one that gets the sun when we drive!! So put your sunscreen on while driving. Mine was very small and they got all of it without any problem.
    I am not having much fun cooking for myself since my husband went into assisted living (memory care.) I thought it would be more exciting to choose what I want every night, but the truth is I don’t have any special cravings and most nights I don’t care what I’m eating. I have cooked but I do find myself eating a sandwich and a side more often than ever. A burger and steamed broccoli is turning out to be a favorite meal, and I’ve also made waldorf salad, which was not a favorite with my husband, as my side more than once. My grand-daughter sent me home with some vegetable soup she made and it was delicious. I’m so happy she’s finally taking an interest in cooking as she has eaten a ton of salads since she’s been living on her own! She is experimenting with soups and curries and has lots of places to buy fresh organic veggies in the city. She is also making banana bread pretty often–a family favorite and a better bargain that stopping at a bakery! We have other quick bread recipes to share with her also.
    I’m ready for spring–much as I love cabbage and carrots I’m looking forward to more fresh things.

    1. I’m glad they replaced your battery under the warranty. Here we have only had a limited replacement; you have to pay part of the battery depending on how long it was within the warranty. The heats kills batteries here and usually ours has to be replaced every couple of years.

      I’m also glad you were able to see your husband and that your daughter has taken an interest in cooking. My second daughter is not very interested and I am hoping to spark an interest soon in something other than microwaved potatoes.

  47. Love the flowers, Brandy! I do so enjoy your photographs.

    A quick note that the stem cell transplant is a success. Today I engrafted. I’m breathing a huge sigh of relief and am thankful beyond words. Words fail me at this point.

    My hair is starting to grow back. PTL! Month 21 for cancer treatment.

    It has been a very frugal week being in the hospital. The irony is that I can eat whatever I wish and have people to cook it, but have no appetite.

    I have been able to save enough to buy my daughter’s wedding gown. I had always imagined I would make hers, but not now. She arrives soon for caretaking and we are setting up private sessions in wedding dress shops. Another dream come true.

    Blessings,

    Trish

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