Saturday, August 19, 2017

Saturday snail mail...

The girls stayed over last night, and so I had them make and write cards for their great-grandmother this morning.

This one is Caitlyn's.  Just washi tape and a wooden 'love.'  And inside a sweet note.

Chloe's was super simple as well (they were hungry, so I thought fast was better than fancy).  They both are great letter writers.  I didn't find a misspelling or grammar error worthy of correcting (a few commas missing, but we let those slide today).  

Both of them are eager to start back to school.  Both will be in middle school this year.  Why do babies have to grow up so fast?

Friday, August 18, 2017

Frugal Friday File 2017, week 33...

1.  Payday!  Now I remember why I booked all these workdays.

2.  Pretty $3.24 for the spiral binding, it was pretty frugal...but for me it made the list because of how it helps me be frugal with my time and energy.

3.  Shopped gasoline prices near where I was working this week.  Often they are lower there, but not this time.  Saved 15¢ per gallon by waiting till I got back home to fill up (which was a little nerve wracking, as I was pretty low).

4.  Decided not to rush back to get my hair cut again.  The style, while not my favorite, is tidy and extremely easy to take care of.  I think it will look fine while growing out as well, and I'd kind of like to start the clock on how long I can go till the next cut.  :)

5.  The girls are spending the night tonight.  I will take them out to our favorite little neighborhood Tex-Mex place, so not too frugal there (but really pretty reasonable).  But living right around the corner is definitely frugal for us ('cause we like to see them often) and for them ('cause we are handy for the occasional night out or business trip).  

Frugal From the Kitchen This Week:
Saturday:  *pizza
Sunday:  Sunday family dinner at Kasey's
Monday:  goulash
Tuesday:  leftovers
Wednesday:  C: leftovers, me:*dinner out with a friend
Thursday:  *hamburgers
Friday:  *Tex-Mex

(*not-frugal takeout or dinner out)

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

What am I not reading Wednesday...

photo credit:

A book being read gathers no moss, but the books around here are getting decidedly mossy.  I haven't finished either of the books I have been reading.

I am commuting this week, so not too many waking hours at home...and those are reserved for dishes and laundry.

I have spent most of my workdays doing required annual training.  It's been quiet at this branch, so I was able to plug away at them.  Today I finished the last of them...HALLELUJAH!  The 'boss' told me to bring a book tomorrow, as he will be out most of the day, and it should be really quiet again.  

Why, I don't mind if I do!  :)

Monday, August 14, 2017

Making it Monday...

I feel like I've gone on ad nauseam, (and here ) about my need for a to-do list, my need for simplicity, and yet still yearning for pretty.  All the pretty ones I look at had too much stuff that I wouldn't use and would only clutter up my brain.

I like a spiral to keep a pen or pencil tucked in the spiral.  My original true love is a steno pad, but the part I don't like is rewriting the staples of my week over again on every page. 

I was inspired by this weekly layout by Kate Louise.  Hmmm, I wonder if 'Kate' is short for Kathleen, because Louise is my middle name too.  :)  

 So I started playing around with my publisher program.  I didn't arrange mine by days of the week, as I tend to prioritize things on the fly, and I don't like assigning things to specific days.  I kept a place for my monthly goal and my 3 major weekly goals for the things that I have to remind myself to keep working on or toward.  I arranged the constant repeats in a way that made sense to me...daily tracking my swiffering (my only real New Year's resolution this year), loading and unloading the dishwasher, decluttering with 27 Fling Boogies (รก la Flylady), keeping up with laundry loads, and even my 52 Letters in 52 Weeks.  Oh, and the colorful banners really satisfy the pretty factor for me.

I was able to fit all of this on a 8 1/2" x 5 1/2" space, which means I could fit two per sheet of printer paper.  I printed them out, and cut them apart.  Then I stacked them up and I rummaged through my craft room and found some chip board that came as part of shipments of something or other.  I cut two pieces of chipboard (a handy bit of recycling, this) the same size as my list sheets, and I took them to Office Max to have them spiral bound.

 The chipboard gives it a nice firm writing base.

And now I have the best of both world and the world of pretty planners.  :)  I've already started this week's list.  It is exactly what I need, because it was made just for me, and it has all the recurring chores preprinted.  It has enough pages to last over a year.  And it's pretty!

And other than my printer ink and printer paper which I had on hand, it cost exactly $3.24 for Office Max to add the spiral binding.

I can live with that.  :)

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Saturday snail mail...

Caroline, look away!  I know you have not opened yours yet.  :)

Simple cards.  Just paper and the one little 'hello' stamp.

Kept the same colors, but changed up the prints a little.  Measuring was not my forte the day these were made.  :)

Cloudy day when I took this photo, so the colors aren't very true.  The inspiration I found online used a book page for the background.  I wanted a specific 'summer vacation' theme, so I typed out several lines of words on that theme, then copied and pasted them over and over again.  Printed it out and cut to size.  The pearls were originally white ones that I colored with a sharpie to match the orange layering paper.

Just paper and washi tape and the same 'hello' stamp.  Oh, and a few little enamel dots.  I wrote a letter on letterhead-sized paper, so made the long card to enclose it in, and both went into a business-sized envelope (but a hot pink one).

Again just paper and washi tape, with the addition of a wooden laser-cut word which I 'painted' black with a Sharpie marker.

Also got four other ones in the mail this week that I didn't get photos of.  I'm back on track to get 52 letters mailed out in 52 weeks!

Friday, August 11, 2017

Frugal Friday File 2017, week 32...

1.  It had probably been a year since we had steak on the menu, so I put ribeyes on the shopping list.  They were pretty pricey, but large, and we cut them in half before serving.  Cooked on the grill to a perfect medium rare.  Fed three adults for much less than ordering the same at a restaurant...and enough left to make three extra-special meals for the freezer to go to work with Carey, as well a a nice-sized piece that I sliced thin to add to a fabulous salad to go to work with me.

2.  I bought 4 oz of ground cinnamon from the bulk bins for $1.38...the same amount of name brand in a shaker is almost 3 times as much...and it saved a plastic shaker from ending up in the landfill.

3.  A 24 oz package of my favorite brand of thick-sliced bacon is regularly $8.98.  It was on sale for $5.99 this week.  Four extra packages came home to my freezer.  Shouldn't need to bring home the bacon again till next year.  ;)

4.  But Carey didn't get that memo, because he got a surprise raise today...effectively bringing home even more bacon.  ๐Ÿ˜Š

5.  I booked a few hours of work on Monday morning.  This is at a local branch, so I was happy to say yes when asked.  I turn down less than full days at branches that I have to commute to, because it just doesn't seem worth a few hours' pay when it has to cover gas for the trip over and back.

Frugal From the Kitchen This Week:
Saturday:  ribeyes, hot potato salad, corn
Sunday:  Sunday family dinner at Kasey's
Monday:  fried rice and egg rolls
Tuesday:  roast, potatoes, carrots
Wednesday:  *Schlotzky sandwiches
Thursday:  grazed the fridge
Friday:  Asian Sesame Meatballs with rice

(*not-frugal takeout or dinner out)

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

What I'm reading Wednesday...

Same and same.

The novel was away for the weekend, so it didn't get read at all.

I did, however, keep reading Elizabeth the Queen and STILL I am at just under 50%!  I'm reading it on my Kindle, so I can't tell actual page numbers (I checked out the ebook from the library, and keeping my Kindle's wifi turned off so the book stays on it even though the library's copy has been returned from my Amazon account).  According to Amazon it is around 700 pages long.  I've read longer books before in much shorter time.  I can only assume that the printing on those 700 pages is like that of the Lord's Prayer written on a grain of rice.  And then, getting weary of it and reading other books in between doesn't help.  :)

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Break out the chopsticks...

I don't often fry things, and I virtually never deep fry anything.  But recently my sister told me she made egg rolls at home, and that they turned out great and weren't too hard.  So last night I decided to give them a try too.  I'm not putting up a detailed recipe, since I want to tweak the seasonings.

I used ground pork and browned it in a skillet.  Then I added prepared 'angel hair' cabbage slaw mix and I chopped onion and carrot.  I seasoned the mix and cooked just for a few minutes until the vegetables were slightly tender.

I rolled in prepared egg roll wrappers sealing with a dab of water.

I heated about an inch or so of oil in a large fry pan and cooked, turning to brown evenly...

...and then drained on paper towels.

I made fried rice to go along with them.  If I hadn't been so hungry, I would have made sure more of the vegetables showed in the photo to make it more colorful.  

For the fried rice, I cook 2 cups of rice as per the package directions.   I cut bacon into about 1 inch lengths and cook till starting to brown, then I add chopped onion and green pepper, shoestring carrots and sliced mushrooms and let cook till just tender.  I make a well in the middle of the vegetables and add a couple of beaten eggs and scramble, then I stir the eggs into the vegetables a bit and add the rice to the pan along with a generous amount of soy sauce, stirring to mix all.

I made both the egg rolls and rice in large amounts, since I wanted to have some to share with Jared and make Carey several meals to put in the freezer to take to work, as well as some for me to take to work for lunch today.  :)

Monday, August 7, 2017

Seven random thoughts on the 7th...

1.  It rained 2 1/2 inches in the early morning hours.  Boy did we need it!  The thunder and sound of rain woke me up, and it was so soothing to fall back to sleep to those sounds.  So soothing that I turned off the alarm when it went off.  Thank goodness I wasn't scheduled to work today.

2.  But it did make me super late for quilting day at the library.  :(  About lunch time I stopped by to visit for a little while, but I didn't stay to sew.  

3.  When I left the library, I headed to the clinic in a neighboring town where I get my port flushed.  I had had an appointment there on Friday.  The nurses in the chemo department are the ones who flush my port (just port maintenance, no chemo for me).  Sometimes they are really busy with chemo patients, so I always take a book with me in case there is a long wait.  This time I barely had time to get my book out of my purse before they were done with me and I was ready to go.  So thinking it was still in my purse, I walked out and forgot my book.  It drove me crazy all weekend.  I have to work for the rest of the week, so if I didn't get over there today, I wouldn't have another chance till next week.  Also, they have a bookshelf in the lobby...a sort of little free library...that I was afraid staff might put it on, and it might get picked up by another patient, never to be seen by me again, but it was still in the chemo room on the nurses' station counter.

4.  On the trip over, there is an intersection that is at the bottom of a hill which impedes vision of vehicles stopped and waiting for the light to change.  At the hight point of the road, crews had put an electronic flashing traffic warning sign:  Caution...Slippery Slope...Ahead.  It made me do a double take.  I don't just seemed more like a fortune cookie message than a traffic warning.

5.  I was giving myself a hard time about wasting the time and gasoline to make the extra trip.  However, I remembered that I hadn't yet picked up a key for the branch that I will be working at next week...and it is right down the street from the at least I managed to kill two birds with that stone.

6.  On the way home I made a dreaded grocery shop.  I made the menu over the weekend. The freezer and pantry are now full.  We are set for awhile.  I love when I have that job out of the way!

7.  Tonight I am making fried rice for supper, and I'm attempting to make homemade egg rolls for the first time.  I'd better go get to it!

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Tip of the week...

I purchased these Shout brand Color Catchers to use when washing new quilts to help keep dark colors from bleeding onto light colors.  They have been in a drawer for a long time.

I recently ordered some long-sleeved tops for fall/winter in darker colors...reds, greens, navy.  A couple of them were navy and white.  I was afraid they might be ruined in their first wash, so I pulled the Color Catchers out of the drawer and put two in washer with a full load of dark clothing (the new tops along with older dark clothing).  

A new color catcher is in the photo above on the left.  The two I washed with this load are on the right.  Quite a difference.  I'm not sure how these work, but they do seem to work.  The fabric of all the clothing came out perfectly with no tinting or bleeding.  Quite happy with this product.

Just drop one in the washer (2 for a large load with quite a few new, unwashed colors), add the laundry and detergent, and wash.  Discard after using.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Frugal Friday File 2017, week 31...

1.  I ordered 5 replacement knobs to replace the broken ones on the lids of my stainless steel cookware.  I wouldn't say they were inexpensive (with tax and shipping about $10 each), but I still consider them frugal.  The pots and pans are 41 years old (favorite wedding gift ever!) and in perfect condition aside from the knobs, which were broken one at a time over the years.  The last one finally broke recently, and last week I got a blister on my finger when I didn't have good hot-pad coverage.    As soon as the new ones arrive, we'll be set for another 40 years.  :)

2.  Picked up three more days of work for September.  My calendar hasn't been this full in a long time.  But that's a good thing.  I've blocked out most of October and some of November as non-work days, as I will have quilt retreat and then we will be taking vacation during part of that time, so it's a good thing to have a full calendar beforehand.  :)

3.  Signed up for a 30-day free Netflix trial.  I set a reminder for the day before it ends, so that it doesn't slip past without my notice.  I may or may not continue with a subscription, but I want it to be a conscious choice and not an accident.  In fact, even if I do decide to subscribe, I think I might wait till after vacation.

4.  Keeping a close eye on the finances.  Car insurance and house insurance are due soon.  Making vacation plans and reservations.  

5.  Brewed iced tea using one regular tea bag and one peach tea bag.  So good.  Helps keep me away from happy hour at Sonic.  :)

Frugal From the Kitchen This Week:
Saturday:  leftovers
Sunday:  Sunday dinner at Kasey's
Monday:  curry, rice, and naan
Tuesday:  leftovers
Wednesday:  grazed the fridge
Thursday:  *barbecue
Friday:  ???

(*not-frugal takeout or dinner out)

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Hair today, gone tomorrow...

Let me apologize for the terrible photos right from the get go.

I've been wearing my hair up in a clip for quite awhile now,

or pulled back in an elastic band.

 Well, it's still in an elastic band.  And there was at least this much more again on the shop floor.

I just realized, it's not as short as I wanted it, so am considering making another appointment.  But I will live with it for a couple of weeks; my calendar is too full to do anything before then.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

What I'm reading Wednesday...

The Tilted World
by Tom Franklin and Beth Ann Fennelly

The Mississippi river flood of 1927 was the most destructive flood in US history.   This story adds prohibition, bootleggers, and an orphaned baby to the mix.  It fulfills the 'book with multiple authors' category of the 2017 reading challenge

I am still working away on Elizabeth the Queen...or as I am now calling it The Book That Will Never End!

Friday, July 28, 2017

Frugal Friday File 2017, week 30...

1.  Took Chloe to the drive in.  Made popcorn before we went and put in individual bowls. Took our own soda. Stopped for movie-sized boxes of Junior Mints and Milk Duds at the store so we wouldn't have to pay movie-concession prices.   (We didn't need the candy, and if it was just Carey and I we would have just taken the popcorn and soda, but since Chloe was with us, I wanted to make it an extra special event.)  Watched both movies of the double feature (Despicable Me 3 and Spider-Man: Homecoming), so feel like we got more for our money there.  Chloe stayed up right through the late feature (it was her choice to stay for it), and was still awake when we got home at 1 a.m.!

2.  Picked up 3 more days of work for August.  Lost one that was previously booked, but that's okay since I had accidentally booked it for the same day as quilting day at the library.

3.  I've been a bit bored, and considered making a trip to Dollar Tree or to browse Goodwill, but the truth is I don't need anything.  Realizing that before I spend any gasoline or money is a good thing.  What I need to do is fill some boxes to take TO Goodwill.  :)

4.  Having filled the freezer with meals for Carey to take to work, I found that all of our meal containers were full, and I had to wait for him to empty some containers and bring them back home.  I filled up enough again to feed him for another week.

5.  Carey picked up an extra day of work covering for a co-worker who needed time off.

Frugal From the Kitchen This Week:
Saturday:  leftovers
Sunday:  Sunday family dinner at Kasey's
Monday:  *Schlotzky sandwiches
Tuesday:  Salisbury steak, mashed potatoes & gravy, corn
Wednesday:  leftovers
Thursday:  *barbecue
Friday:  *pizza

(*not-frugal takeout or dinner out)

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

What I'm reading Wednesday...

His Majesty's Dragon by Naomi Novik

This one is TOTALLY out of my normal reading tastes, but in the interest of giving the 2017 reading challenge my all, I thought I'd make an attempt at it.  The cover indicates that Stephen King found it 'Terifically entertaining," not that I believe all the author recommendations found on book covers.

It will fulfill the "book involving a mythical creature" category.  It would also fulfill the "book with a red spine" which I kind of fudged on last week, but no way was I going to count it for a red spine and then have to read an additional mythical creature story.

And in the interest of full disclosure, I am still working my way through Elizabeth The Queen: The Life of a Modern Monarch.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Making it Monday...

I made a run to the superstore today.  Back-to-school displays are a magnet for me.  I bought a composition book with grid pages for quilt designing, my favorite gel pens in black ink to last the year (I am always misplacing them), and the same pens but in pretty-colored ink for my to-do lists.  I avoided buying crayons, but I did open a box so I could drink in their beauty and breathe deeply of their one-of-a-kind scent-sation.  Nothing can send me back to the second grade like the smell of fresh crayons!  Favorite Crayola color?  Magenta.  Could live without Burnt Sienna.  (I'm not sure either of those colors are still part of the Crayola lineup.

Remember those old-school giant crayons that were flat on one side?  Ugh...HATED those...too waxy, so I could never get the depth of color I wanted.  I remember being insulted in kindergarten that our crayon usage was limited to those vile things. Would you believe it only just dawned on me a month or so ago that the flat side was so they wouldn't roll off of the table?!  I mean the box says 'Anti-Roll' right on the front!  What can I say?  I despised them so much.

I also bought envelopes while I was at the store, which is what I went for.  I had a very productive day of card making today, only to find that I was out of envelopes.  Can't get them in the mail without envelopes.  I don't believe I will show the photos of them until they have time to be received.  :)

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Saturday snail mail...

Chloe's spending the night, so I let her loose with the Paper Pumpkin that arrived a week or so ago.  She actually made another different one as well, but I can't find it to save my life.  She wrote a sweet note in this one, and it is addressed and ready to go to her great grandmother.

I made this one with the stamps from the same Paper Pumpkin (except the 'you' which was from another one) using different colors etc.

My progress toward sending 52 letters in 52 weeks is lagging terribly this year.  I have a list of at least a dozen people to whom I need to send a letter.  I guess getting one out this week is better than none.  

Friday, July 21, 2017

Frugal Friday File 2017, week 29...

1.  Readied a week's worth of individual servings of meals for freezer for Carey to take to work.

2.  Booked ten days of work over the next two months...all local, no commute...yea!

3.  Today was a lazy-stay-home-no-spend day.  I did some online window shopping, but never clicked on the buy-now button.

4.  Grooming the dog myself: bath, nails, ears.

5.  Made new dog bed.  Basically same as the last one, but with a removable cover that can be more easily removed and laundered.  The last one held up very well, but it sustained some soiling that required disposal (not frugal, but necessary for my well being).  FYI:  I've also been known to dispose of sheets back in the day when my children were ill in the middle of the night.

Frugal From the Kitchen This Week:
Saturday:  homemade hamburgers
Sunday:  Sunday dinner at Kasey's
Monday:  leftovers
Tuesday:  Pasta Caponata with Chicken Breast
Wednesday:  chicken burgers
Thursday:  pork chops, rice & gravy, corn pudding, green beans
Friday:  goulash

(*not-frugal takeout or dinner out)

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

What I'm reading Wednesday...

I am still reading Elizabeth The Queen: The Life of a Modern Monarch, but it is another one that takes some thinking and time.  Since I have been reading it a LOT and am still only 20% of the way through, I found myself needing a bit of a break for some easier reading.

The Widow by Fiona Barton

I just started The Widow, and got pulled into it pretty quickly.  I'm counting it as 'a book with a red spine' category for the 2017 reading challenge, though I don't really have any idea what color the spine is since it's an ebook.  The paperback cover shown above has red, so close enough!  :)

Friday, July 14, 2017

Frugal Friday File 2017, week 28...

1.  Received our phone/cable bill.  We have our service through a cooperative, so once a year they pay each member a share of the company profits by deducting it from their bill.  Dropped this month's bill by almost $80.

2.  Menu planned.  Grocery list made.  Shopped and stuck to list.

3.  Made sure that the list included the fixin's for a fabulous dinner (salad with fresh berries, avocados, spinach, salmon [and pecans from the freezer]) to serve my company, so we can stay in, have a great meal and quiet time to visit and catch up without feeling like we're being frugal.  

4.   I didn't buy any of the Prime deals on Prime day.  I had a couple of things in my cart...and I may regret not having a head start as it gets closer to Christmas...but I figured if I had any doubt at all I didn't need to buy them this week.

5.  I called the pharmacy this week about my longstanding prescriptions that needed refilling and would need a call to the doctor's office to get a renewed scrip for the next 12 months.  Since I wanted them to get the renewals for all of my prescriptions and not just those needing filling imminently, I mentioned that somehow my prescriptions had gotten divided into some being filled one week and some two weeks later, and asked them to be sure to get Rx renewals for all of them when they called.  I had asked in the past about moving the refill for one batch to match the other and was told it would involve moving the refill date for some up by a day or two each month until eventually they were all filled at the same time.  I fell for accepted that explanation even though I thought it was ridiculous.  Today when I went to pick up my refills, they had all of them ready at the same time!  Yea!  No more wasting gasoline on special trips and waiting in line for ages.  Now if I could just get them to fill 90 days at a time.  Insurance won't do 90 days unless by mail order through their provider.  With all the mail theft we have in our area, not to mention the direct sun and 100+ degree heat baking everything in our black mailbox, I just don't want to go the mail-order route.

Frugal From the Kitchen This Week:
Saturday:  leftovers
Sunday:  Carey had leftovers, I had breakfast for dinner
Monday:  *Tex-Mex
Tuesday:  leftovers
Wednesday:  One skillet sausage and rice with onions and peppers, green beans
Thursday:  salmon with fresh salad
Friday:  homemade burgers

(*not-frugal takeout or dinner out)

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

What I'm reading Wednesday...

Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving
at Work, Home, and School by John Medina
I finally finished this one on Saturday after working at it for quite awhile.  While it did take some concentration and thought, it was very interesting, and the science was written in a way that the layman could grasp.  

The Wives of Henry Oades by Johanna Moran
I picked this one up Saturday night, and read into the wee hours and all day Sunday until it was finished.  Set in the late 1800s, it followed a family from their home country of England, to Wellington, New Zealand, into the wilds of New Zealand when the wife and children are abducted by a Maori tribe, and finally to northern California.  I thought it was well written, and the characters well developed.  I really liked it.

Elizabeth The Queen: The Life of a Modern Monarch
by Sally Bedell Smith
I have only just started Elizabeth the Queen.  I chose this one to fulfill the "book about an interesting woman" category of the 2017 reading challenge...and because it was available as an ebook through my library.  :)

I considered books about Madelyn Albright and Condoleeza Rice as well, but I think the reason I came back to this one is the sheer length of time that the queen has been on the throne, the changes to the world she has seen during her reign, and the constant scrutiny she and her family have been under.  I know for certain I have never wanted her job.  

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Design wall construction...

I have had the materials to make a design wall for months (4'x8' insulation boards, batting, staple gun), but kept putting it off.  Today I admitted that I was not going to get it done on my own, so I enlisted Carey's help...which is a good thing, because he had trouble with the stapler, so there is no way I could have used it.  Plus it was invaluable to have someone for me to instruct and supervise.  (It brings to mind the time I explained to Caitlyn that the headband we made was TOTALLY her design, I just executed it.  LOL)

The second one went together quicker and easier than the first.  Now they are both in the sewing room, though not really in their permanent spot yet.

They are, however, perfectly capable of being put into use, which is good, because I could not make any further progress on this quilt top until I could lay it out.  And literally 'laying' it out wasn't an option with Rudy running around.  :)  I am thrilled to have them up and in service!

Friday, July 7, 2017

Seven MORE random thoughts on the 7th...

1.  I took a three hour nap.  Since I never went to bed last night, that's okay.

2.  I vacuumed the entire house today.

3.  I heard an article on NPR today about 'flying ant day' being a distraction at Wimbeldon.  Just like Wimbledon, the ants decided to swarm around here a few days ago...lucky me!  But thank Heavens my ants didn't fly.  Here is a disgusting photo to creep you out and make you take pity on me.  
And that is just a close up of one pile of them.  They stretched the entire width of my kitchen window between the wall and my sink.  <<SHUDDER!!>>  I took the photo to text to my exterminator so he would hurry to my house!  :)  The only good thing about them was that there were no live ones.  The treatment from last year was still strong enough to work.  By the time they made it into the house, they just piled up and never got any further.  Still it was time to re-treat, so I'm glad it's done.

4. My 'wedding' rings have been missing for the past couple of months.  I wasn't too worried, because though I couldn't remember in the slightest the events surrounding my taking them off and putting them someplace other than their normal resting spot, I did vaguely remember putting them someplace 'safe.'  I was a little hesitant to tell Carey, but I don't wear them much, so it wasn't something he noticed.  Also they aren't my real wedding rings.  The only one I was really worried about was the anniversary band since he had it made for our 20th anniversary (20 years ago!).  It has real stones, but they are tiny.  The three-stone ring is fake...well, the gold is real, but the stones aren't.  I got it when I returned a pair of hideous earrings he bought me for Christmas once.  LOL  They look nice together, and are WAY more comfortable than the rings I actually got married in.

Anyway, today I cleaned out my purse.  I removed everything from every little pocket.  And lo and behold, there they were on a key ring that holds keys I have to keep but never have to use.  I feel better.  They were someplace (relatively) safe.  :) 

5.  I'm making a pasta salad with grilled chicken for supper tonight.  Everybody likes it, and it is nice to have in the fridge to have small meals as wanted for a few days.

6.  I think it is time to change my mantel decorations, but I think I will wait till after my friend comes next week.  Patriotic is still okay through July, right?

7.  Let's see...what else?  How about a confession?  I watch reruns over and over and over.  Seinfeld, Big Bang Theory, Golden Girls, and Frasier are white noise around here.  Rudy's favorite is Big Bang...he likes the animated commercials.  LOL

Frugal Friday File 2017, week 27...

It's been an expensive week what with life insurance premium due (it's outrageous!) and a swarming ant invasion making an exterminator treatment a necessity rather than an option.  I gave in to the lure of an online sale for some clothes, and I went to The Container Store for a birthday present and succumbed to their display of organization tools (some of which I have set aside with the receipt to return on my next trip to the city).  My successes this week were not stellar, but, hey...

1.  Worked on Wednesday.  Wasn't hungry, so I skipped lunch and read my library book for the entire lunch hour instead.

2.  I listed a used book for sale on Amazon.  It is one I bought years ago for $1 to use for a craft project.  (As per my usual I never got around to making the craft.)  When I was whittling down books recently, I checked Amazon for the going price of used copies of this book.  It was enough to make it worth a try...but I don't think I'll hold my breath.

3.  I used leftover chili from our Frito Pie on Tuesday to make an Easy Enchilada Casserole on Thursday.  I was short of cheddar, so I combined some shredded mozzarella for the layers instead of running to the store.  It was a little lasagna-esque, but it wasn't bad.

4.  I did not buy any fireworks for the 4th of July (that is for people who have money, quite literally, to burn).  I didn't drive to any festivities.  I stayed home and put Rudy to bed early so the sounds wouldn't get him wound up.  And I tried to ignore the concussion of the neighbors' fireworks (which went on past 2 a.m.)  This neighborhood makes me crazy sometimes.  I like fireworks, but I prefer the organized, professional displays rather than the too-often careless individuals spreading sparks in our dry brush growth.  The county instituted a burn ban yesterday.  We should have been under a burn ban BEFORE the holiday.  Talk about low-level political backscratching.

5.  I'm not the manicure type; I used clippers to trim my nails uniformly short when I broke two very close to the quick.

Bonus:  I didn't rush toward a quick fix for the appearance of the blog.  Yesterday it had a really obtrusive and annoying Photobucket ad/warning placed all over my page.  I went to Photobucket to read more about whether or not I needed to pay for their service (that used to be free, but now they want anywhere from $5.99 to $39.99 a month for a package to keep the blog like you want it.  Oh, and it's billed annually, so that's a nice chunk paid up front.)  Thank goodness I didn't pay, because you know how many images they have been hosting that affected my blog?  Two.  The background and my signature, and the background wasn't even in my account, it was in the designer's account.  So I will be doing without those two things.  I will work on the layout as I have time to make it pretty again, but I'm not going to throw money at it.  OH, and DEFINITELY won't be throwing any money in Photobucket's direction...their website was SO ANNOYING AND HARD TO NAVIGATE because of all the pop ups you had to keep closing in order to read their new rules.  It was so frustrating I literally screamed at the computer more than once before I could get things figured out and delete my account!  It was like they didn't want you to be able to get out of their grasp.  I closed the account which had one photo...ONE...and I left a comment letting them know how unnecessarily difficult they were making things.  I realize that they are in business to make money, and giving things away for free was not working out for them, but to be so obnoxiously difficult!?  Great business strategy.

Sorry.  I needed to vent.

Frugal From the Kitchen This Week:
Saturday:  *Chinese takeout
Sunday:  sushi (son's treat)
Monday:  *burger
Tuesday:  Frito Pie
Wednesday:  *sandwich
Thursday:  Easy Enchilada Casserole
Friday:  Bow-tie Pasta Salad with Grilled Chicken

(*not-frugal takeout or dinner out)

Seven random thoughts on the 7th...

1.  Today is my sister's birthday.  Tomorrow is Bobby's.  Next week is Jared's.  And later this month is Beau's.  It's a big month.

2.  Next week my best friend from childhood is coming for a short visit.  I'm hoping that we can arrange a brunch visit with the third member of our trio who lives in the nearby city now; she has to report for jury duty, but we are crossing our fingers that she doesn't get chosen.

3.  I have a long list of things I need to get done before my friend arrives.  This place is a disaster!

4.  And I am running out of time.  Monday is an all-day quilting day at the library...with two more squares due for our exchange quilt...which I have not even started working on yet.

5.  And speaking of quilting, I am so excited!  When I was at work on Wednesday I got a text from my sister-in-law.  She included a photo of a quilt that was given to her (and Carey's) parents early in their marriage.  It's in her possession, but she says it's ours if we want it.  SCORE!!
My husband's family is not as sentimental about old things as mine is.  Thus I have a bit of a reputation as a pack rat with them.  Oh, let's be honest, they think I'm a hoarder; but, hey, it has paid off to my advantage more than once.  I am not sure they have any idea what good stuff we have ended up with.  I'm not sure they think it's good stuff!  

I'm really happy about this quilt.  Since Carey's mom had gifted me with a Grandmother's Flower Garden top that she pieced, which I had machine quilted and gave to Kasey for her birthday this year, this one will be set aside for Jared if he is interested in it (or if he ever finds a wife who is).  That way each of our kids will have a quilt that belonged to their grandmother that has 'grandmother' in its pattern name.  I'll have to find out from Carey's mom who gave this one to them, and then figure out how to put a label on it with the information.

6.  Okay, I may be a hoarder.  This week while working at cleaning my desk area I found myself moving a container of piano keys out from under it.  We had to dismantle my childhood piano (couldn't find anyone to take it, and it was too expensive to repair).  I made Carey save the keys...intending to make an art piece out of them.  Yeah.  Hoarder.  Now I'm thinking about how to sell them on ebay.  Surely someone else might think it's an interesting project idea too.

7.  I've been having trouble sleeping...or rather not sleeping.
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