Friday, September 30, 2022

All Done


This has been a hard post to write, but the time has now come to close the chapter on my blog.  It is hard to end something you've worked so hard on and put it to rest, especially after eleven wonderful years of sharing my life and meeting so many magnificent readers.  I am truly blessed and thankful to you for the stories we've shared, the encouragement we've given each other and the community that we've built here.


It all went by so fast!

As with anything in life things change.  My children are all grown and I no longer have anyone to parent or claim responsibility for.  I no longer do the Mom things I've been doing for the past 37 years.  I don't bargain shop for school clothes, shoes or supplies.  I don't give my children haircuts or pack their lunches in the morning.  There are no more extra-curricular activities, concerts, games and events, back-to-school nights or parent teacher conferences.


Over the years I've taught my children to cook, do chores, fix things, take care of animals, take care of themselves and all I know about budgeting and finances.  I've worked hard and given them the best start to their adult lives that I could and to instill a proper set of morals, values and integrity.  That part of my life is now completed.  I have done my job.


With that in mind my focus in life must now change.  There has been a shift in what I am now supposed to do.  I'm now a cheerleader, idea bouncer, listener and encourager.  I am no longer a parent, I'm just Mom.  It is a good place to be.


It is now time to move on.  The next chapter awaits as I settle into my new role.  It has been a good run and looking back I am so incredibly grateful for it all.  I've been blessed in numerous ways, no doubt about that.  But, don't worry, I won't be gone for good.  I'll still be around, it just won't be here anymore.  If you would like to continue to follow along with me, and I hope you will, I'll be over here and over here.


I want to give you a big hug and a huge heartfelt thank you for everything we've shared this past eleven years.  God Bless you now and long into the future.  I'll see you around.


Monday, September 5, 2022

Labor Day


Happy Labor Day Everyone! 

Enjoy a well deserved break.  I will be taking a break from this blog for a while.  If you care to, you may join me on my new blog My Tireless Retirement and keep up on my shenanigans over there.  

Tuesday, August 30, 2022

5 Inexpensive Nonfood Items To Add To Your Preps - Part 5


This is my last installment for this series.  If you've missed any of my prior post for part 1, part 2, part 3 and part 4 just click on these to get caught up.  How are you doing with your nonfood prepping?  Did you stock up on any of the items we've been discussing?  Let's talk some more about items you may or may not have considered to add to your prepper pantry.


Feminine Hygiene/Bladder Control Products 

These are not cheap, by any stretch, however there are a multitude of store brand products out there that might just meet your needs.  I noticed Dollar Tree carries Modess brand products now so that is definitely an affordable option.  Along with disposable products I think it is a good idea, just in case, to have some reusable options stashed away such as sanitary and dribble pads.  Those can be homemade and there are a ton of options for how to do this on Youtube.  I recommend checking them out.  There is also the menstruation cup, but I have no experience with that so you might want to do some research first before delving in.




If you have children or grandchildren a stash of diapers is also a good idea, but again, not just disposable options but cloth diapers along with plastic pants.  Don't forget the diaper pins.  When I was expecting my first child my mother in law and I collected flannel baby blankets and adult shower blankets, made an hour glass shaped pattern (should be able to find one online) and sewed a gob of cloth diapers which is all I used with my boys.  Disposables were not in the budget.  This is still an excellent option and should be considered.  A couple dozen cloth diapers could make a huge difference if there ever ends up being a diaper shortage like we've seen with formula.  Not at all beyond the realm of possibility.



Extra socks stashed away is another good idea.  You have to take good care of your feet and when your feet are cold, you are cold.  Warm dry comfortable socks are a must.  Warm fuzzy socks to sleep in are also nice.  And something you may not think of is to keep extra shoelaces on hand.  Nothing more irritating than breaking a lace and trying to walk in a shoe that just wants to fall of your foot.


First Aid 

Putting together a decent first aid kit can be quite expensive, especially if you buy one already made up, but it is quite possible to make one up without breaking the bank.  I put mine together in sections buying band-aids, tape and bandages at the dollar store.  I made my own sling using muslin from my fabric stash and just kept building up from there.  The dollar store and Wal-Mart are good places to pick up ointments and antiseptics, hydrogen peroxide, alcohol and prep pads.  Walgreens and CVS too.  Watch the sales and pick up what you can.  My first aid kit is in a plastic shoebox I picked up at Wal-Mart for a dollar.  I added tweezers and a pair of the Fiskars school scissors that we already had on hand to the box. Look around your house first to see if you have extra items you can get started with and then fill it out from there.



A selection of vegetable seeds is another great options even if you do not currently have a garden spot.  You can grow a lot in a box, bag or bucket and let's face it.  There is nothing better than eating your own homegrown produce.  I have a nice selection of seeds, only things I know I am willing to eat, and I rotate them out each year buying new to replace what I use.  You can vacuum seal them to help retain their freshness, but don't be afraid to try planting old seeds that are past their date.  More often than not they'll still grow.


That is it for now.  Let me know if you have any interest in me continuing with this series or any other particular prepping information for that matter.  Also, I want to hear what you've been doing since this series started.


Thursday, August 25, 2022

Small Home Improvement Project - Backyard Spruce Up


Our mornings have been cool enough I was able to get back outside and do some more work.  I wanted to tackle the eyesore that I could view just outside my living room window.  Primarily the lower deck which is where I had "temporarily" placed some wood for a project I was planning.  It didn’t happen.  This summer I've worked really hard to renovate my entire yard, from the curb at the front to the backyard fence line.  It has been a huge endeavor and a lot of work, but what a transformation.  Yard work it much more manageable and everything looks so nice and pretty outside.


A bunch of stuff that is heading out of here

Earlier this summer I had made some decisions with regard to my list of projects.  As a result a lot of the wood I had accumulated for those projects was no longer needed.  I took pictures of the things I no longer needed and put it up on my neighborhood Facebook Buy Nothing Group and those things are now gone.  I've culled the list once again and now I have another pile of stuff to get rid of.  What remains is neatly tucked away for projects I do intend to complete.


This is so much better!

Once the lower deck was cleared away and swept off I was able to move the BBQ back to where it used to be and where I prefer to have it along with the grilling station I had made for my daughter's graduation party.  The grilling station is on the short list as I no longer have a use for it and it too will soon be going away.  Once the bench and all the extra wood is gone it will really open up the backyard nicely and make it much, much easier to keep clean and maintained through the seasons.  Now when I look out my living room window I really like what I see and I breathe a little better.  I'm getting there!


Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Meal Planning & Prepping For One


I've been doing some experimenting lately with my meals and prepping them for a moderately busy week ahead.  I honestly think I'm busier now than when I was working, but that's completely okay.  Planning meals and doing some prep work helps me a lot, especially when working on a project and I feel too hot and tired to fix something to eat.


Each Sunday I've been choosing two meats from the freezer to work with.  This past week I chose a pair of angus beef patties ($1.75) and a package of pork chunks ($2.12) that I had found in the markdown bin of the supermarket a while back.  I've been on a mission to use up several items in my fridge that have been hanging out for some time as well as to use items in the kitchen freezer to prepare meals.  In the fridge I had loads of leftover items to work with.


This made enough for me to have three meals

I began by placing the partially thawed pork into my smallest slow cooker and adding the remains of a bottle of BBQ sauce.  I added a little warm water to the bottle and gave it a good shake to get out every last bit.  I let the pork cook on low for several hours while I prepared my next dish.


I used up a jar of pickles, some leftover onion and part of a dozen eggs

I love a good mustard potato salad

It has been ages since I've made potato salad so I placed seven eggs into my egg cooker to hard boil and four medium potatoes into a pan to boil.  I chopped up the last two dill pickles I had floating in a jar and a small piece of onion I had leftover from another meal I had made the week before.  Once the eggs and potatoes were done and cooled I peeled four eggs and the four potatoes and chopped those.  I finished it with mayonnaise and mustard along with some salt and pepper.  After transferring the salad to a bowl with a lid I sliced one more egg to arrange on top and sprinkled it with paprika.  Not only did it look pretty it tasted delicious.


Two beautiful little quiches, one for now and one for later

It baked up beautifully in my little toaster oven

How's this for a delicious quiche?

Next I made a batch of pie crust divided it in half and set it in the refrigerator to chill while I tidied up the kitchen.  I mixed two eggs, 2 Tbs of cream, salt and pepper in a small bowl.  Then I got out two little pie plates I had acquired from thrift stores, they fit in my little toaster oven perfectly.  I divide the dough in half, rolled out a crust on a floured board and placed it in a pie pan.  Then I did the same with the other half.  I chopped up some frozen broccoli that needed to be used up and divided it equally between two crusts.  I had two packages with leftover grated cheese in the refrigerator that was just enough to equally divide between the two pies.  I sprinkled that on top of the broccoli and topped one of the with the egg mixture.  I then made another batch of the egg mixture to top the other one.  While I baked one of the quiches in my toaster oven I placed the other one in the freezer for another time.  Once it was frozen I slipped it into a gallon sized Ziploc bag and put it back into the freezer.


Each quiche is four servings

I had two meals with the angus beef patties and potato salad

Three meals of BBQ pork, potato salad & seasoned green beans

For supper I pan fried the two angus patties and enjoyed one with potato salad, the other was saved for another night.  The next evening I heated up the pork, a can of green beans and had some more potato salad for supper.  Between these things I had prepared, plus two slices of leftover homemade pizza from the previous week I had plenty of food to fix quick meals all week long.  Healthy, delicious, economical and all made from scratch meals to keep me going while I get on with my busy little life.


Thursday, August 18, 2022

5 Inexpensive Nonfood Items To Add To Your Preps - Part 4


How are you doing with your nonfood prepping?  Did you stock up on any of the items mentioned in part 1, part 2 and part 3?  Let's talk about some more items you may or may not have considered to add to your prepper pantry.


Grocery Bags 

Keep some plastic and paper shopping bags on hand for disposing of messes.  This is a very affordable option and may not cost you a thing.  Reusable shopping bags are a good option to have too for storing, organizing and carrying things.  At 99¢ a bag it is very affordable to add a few of these to your prepper pantry.



Make sure you have a roll or two of duct tape on hand as well as some electrical and packing tape for making quick repairs.  We all use duct tape for repairing a variety of things around the house.  Electrical tape is useful for not just wiring but I've used it for fixing handles on tools and bikes before when grip tape wasn't readily available.  Packing tape is useful for temporarily repairing a cracked window or patching a tear or cut in a plastic bag.  Having an assortment of tape rolls is a very good idea.


Rope/Zip Ties/Bungi Cords/Tarps 

Having options for tying things up or down as well as securing a load is smart.  Rope has multiple uses and we should all have a roll.  Zip ties are great for repair and securing items.  Bungi cords are very handy and usually run $2 to $4 a piece.  Also consider keeping a couple tarps on hand too.  You never know when you might need to cover something.



A few buckets for carrying water as well as a couple five gallon buckets is another good idea.  Five gallon buckets can be used for storage, carrying items or even to make an emergency toilet.


Manicure Set 

This is an easy and inexpensive item to put together.  You can pick up a pair of nail clippers and toenail clippers for not a lot of money.  Consider a few emery boards as well.  I also have cuticle scissors.  A small plastic container or vinyl pencil pouch to keep it all in and you are good to go.


How are you doing with your nonfood prepping?  What have you acquired so far?


Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Back-To-School = Not-For-Me


It felt really weird, but for the first time in thirty years I didn't get a kid ready to go back to school.  Quite the opposite, in fact.  A few months ago I gathered up all the extra office supplies and grabbed the school supply bin and had my girls go through and take what they wanted for college.  After they loaded up I put what was leftover in a bag and donated it.  I no longer have a school supply bin to add to in preparation of this annual event.


We didn't go shopping this spring and summer for shoes and clothes on clearance to set aside for Fall.  We didn't go to the thrift stores to find items to fill in the gaps and this fall I won't be picking up the clearance backpacks for a buck or two to set aside for when they need one.


I didn't go through the plastic lunch containers or the insulated bags and freezer packs.  I didn't make a new list of lunch ideas for them to pack.  Along with the extra school supplies I also donated their lunch box items.  I didn't do any special grocery shopping for items they might bring to school to eat or for snacking between classes.


My youngest headed off for her first year of college, but there wasn't any fanfare about it.  We had been preparing for this for so long and she actually moved out in July, well ahead of the first day of school, with all of her boxes of items we'd been squirreling away.  She didn't need anything new to take with her.


One thing I'm very happy about is that there is no check I need to write for school registration and school pictures, although I think I'll miss those annual pictures a little bit.  Normally, I'm gearing myself up for the onslaught of scheduled practices, concerts, conferences, meetings, events.  This year my schedule is clear and I've got nothing on the docket.  It is kind of surreal.


Once your youngest has left home there is nothing quite like Back-To-School time to make you realize just how done you are.  It is final.  I've raised my children to be very much ready and prepared for life on their own.  They want their independence and to do things on their own, I totally respect that.  I'm not sad about the finality of my role as their parent or the lack of the back-to-school process and responsibilities.  It just feels weird to not have to do any of that.


What does feel good is that now, as their mom, I'm just Mom.  We can talk and visit, but for the most part, I get to what I want.  When I want.  How I want.  I get to schedule my own stuff.  I don't have to work around school schedules and events.  I don't have to deal with the school stuff anymore.  It feels weird.  It feels really weird.


Thursday, August 11, 2022

Small Home Improvement Project - The 2nd Bedroom - Decorated


I began collecting and making items to redo this bedroom years ago.  It's my neighbor's fault really.  She gave me this beautiful white vintage bedspread and I knew I couldn't use it until my girls were grown and gone.  A mother just knows these things.  A white bedspread and children, not happening.  Not at my house anyway.  So I tucked it aside and dreamed of all the things I would do with this bedspread and the room I'd create around it.


I think this bedspread is just beautiful

Several years ago I picked up some vintage lamps, very similar to the ones I had as a child.  I acquired lampshades at thrift stores and even got one at Lowes on clearance.  I made doilies and dresser scarves that I carefully packaged and stored away for "someday".  I made pillows that I would add to the bed I made up with that beautiful bedspread.  And I had keepsakes from my childhood tucked away in my bedroom closet.


I recently got this handmade wooden doll cradle on Facebook Marketplace
The Irish Chain quilt I made while waiting to adopt my oldest daughter

In celebration of my children heading off on their own journey into adulthood I went on a little shopping spree one morning.  It has been soooooo long since I've done a shopping spree for frivolous items and I had a lot of fun.  With some of the money left over from my big landscaping project I was able to get quite a few things I otherwise probably wouldn't have.  I picked up a set of white book shelves, new blinds and some darling curtains and a can of spray paint to refresh an old desk.  I also ordered a pink fuzzy rug from Amazon.


The refurbished nightstand with a vintage lamp & shade

A few years back I had picked up a nightstand at a neighbor's yard sale for $10 and refurbished it.  I had stripped off the very bad paint job it came with and sanded it smooth, replaced the warped back with a new piece of luan, and repainted it.  I even added a new knob and stitched a darling little drawer liner for it.  Again, I kept it safe until I could place it in this room "someday".


More to come!

Now that "someday" has arrived and the room has been renovated (I still need to do the closet) I was able to get in there and put the finishing touches on this space and use my carefully created and curated items in here.  I could not be happier with how this sweet little room has turned out.  I'm not quite finished in here as I've got several plans for this room and it will be a work in progress, hopefully for a very long time.


Tuesday, August 9, 2022

5 Inexpensive Nonfood Items To Add To Your Preps - Part 3


How are you doing with your nonfood prepping?  Did you stock up on any of the items mentioned in part 1 and part 2?  Let's talk about some more items you may or may not have considered to add to your prepper pantry.


Cast Iron Skillet 

Do you have a good heavy cast iron skillet that would work should you need to cook on your grill, rocket stove or even over an open fire?  Cast iron skillet can be expensive if you purchase them brand new, but yards sales and thrift stores are a great place to find one for a much more affordable price.  Don't be afraid of rust.  It can be cleaned and seasoned.  Along with your skillet a good dutch oven is something to consider as well.



A good flashlight plus an assortment of candles is something we should all have on hand in case of a power outage.  Consider picking up a decent LED flashlight.  The dollar stores sell those tall 80 hour candles which is a great way to inexpensively had some to your prepper pantry.


Batteries/Solar Charger


Batteries do go on sale.  I have an assortment of Amazon Basics batteries on hand for my LED flashlights and our LED lantern as well as anything else we need to put a battery in.  They last a long time and have a 10 year shelf life.  Make sure you are stocking the right size batteries you need too.  Consider adding a small solar charger to your prepper pantry for charging small items such as your cell phone or a rechargeable flashlight.



Pick up a couple boxes of kitchen matches as well as a package of lighters.  I have the bigger boxes of matches as well as the little boxes that can be easily slipped into a pocket.  I keep an extra barbecue lighter on had too as well as a package of the regular lighters.  If you have a zippo lighter make sure you have extra flints and lighter fluid set aside.


Let me know how you are doing?  I love the feedback.

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