Contact Me

Friday, January 31, 2014

It's got to go!

For thirty years doctors have said I am having a gall bladder attack when I complain and tell them my symptoms. Then, they perform tests days later and say it is NOT my gall bladder.

Last night, I just felt unwell because I am starting to have sinus problems, but with a twist. Slowly, the pain in the gall bladder place twisted, wrenched, and tortured me. Eventually, I just went to bed about midnight. In five minutes I was fighting my way out of bed because the nausea told me what was going to happen. I got to my little pink tub just in time.

After I cleaned it, I just sat down here. Waking up at 1:30 holding the tub, I was now feverish. So, off to bed again, trying to cover up with all I had, head too. The room was cool for sleeping easily, but not enough for covering my head. Today, at 2:30 pm I finally awoke for the final time, feeling worse than ever.

This has been going on for at least 30 years. I've probably complained about this before.

Today, for the first time, a medical professional has told me I need to see the doctor when I am having a gall bladder attack.  She is in the Birmingham office.

I am considering getting an appointment next week and then inducing an attack. I can eat too much cheese and bring it on. If I add milk, ice cream, and fry something, I can pull this off. Is this a foolish move? This needs to come out.

A friend's daughter, only 8, had her gall bladder removed before it was inflamed and was an emergency. She had suffered for two years. The operation took place when the child had not one complaint. The surgery was scheduled and it happened two weeks after that. There was no middle of the night screaming ride to the ER. Mother scheduled a few days off as did the father.

Right now, I have a 101 temperature and think that is from the sinus infection. If I did not have the extreme pain, I might think this was just nausea from sinus drainage. It is not. 

Your turn
Does anyone know if this is ever done for an adult for convenience instead a response to a painful life threatening attack? Or, will I just annoy the doctor by asking?

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Surprise on the Porch

I was thoroughly shocked as I stumbled out half awake to feed the chickens, knowing they had frozen water and no food. It was about 12:30 pm or something like that. It was the second night of staying up all night to keep the pipes from freezing.

I have often said I am terrified of Crock Pots. Maybe I should clarify. I am terrified by the thought of a small appliance running all night long. I am afraid of the house wiring failing. I watched my house burn when I was four because of  failed wiring. Reading other people's crock pot adventures actually made me think about getting one in the future. However, this was going to have to be a
desire deferred.

Not now!

The box was so large that I could not get outside. I had to come back in and put the hot water for the hens and the food down on the table and go back and shove it out of the way. I am telling you the guy put this leaning against the door. I barely got this in the house because of the weight and sheer bulk. But, who would not try her best and succeed to find out what treasure awaited?

16" x 21" x 11" box
Okay, I overestimate a

Plus, this Internet angel included:

365 Year-Round Recipes

I tried to put a picture of the recipe book, but
copy and paste places the recipe book
squarely onto the crock pot picture.

In the midst of all the chaos of frozen pipes, finding more glass on the far flung corners of the kitchen, and having water cover much of the floor on three days, this was a very, very good distraction.

This will help put some heat in the kitchen!

Thank you
Thank you
Thank you

No, the angel wants to remain anonymous!

Your turn
Does an unexpected gift put a little zing in your heart and a lightness in your step? What surprise, large like this one, or small gift or kindness have you experienced lately. Maybe it is a long ago memory that still resonates with you.

Saco Cultured Buttermilk Blend (A Powder)

3.5-year  shelf-life 

This product is something I have wanted for a long time. The powder in the little canister can be added to water to make buttermilk for cooking or baking. When I need  buttermilk for baking, before now, I used milk with lemon juice or vinegar added.

Even though I love buttermilk, I just don't regularly buy it or keep it on hand. Do you?  

Using this instead of milk and vinegar or lemon juice, using this powder cuts out one measuring cup. Mix the proper amount of dry cultured buttermilk powder into the other dry ingredients. Mix the proper amount of water into the dry ingredients. Easy peasy.

I just bought the Saco Cultured Buttermilk Blend, a powder, and have not used it yet. So many good things have been reported about this with no negative comments or cons. That makes it easy to recommend it.

Using the cultured buttermilk powder is $0.22 for 4 Tbsp it takes to make a cup of buttermilk.
A cup of milk is $0.23 + the cost of vinegar or lemon juice.
A cup of buttermilk is $0.37.

I predict I will be very happy with this product. What do you think?

After searching for this product, I found someone to ask, a store manager in the grocery department. She immediately said that Walmart did not carry the product. I assured her WM did, and she was positive WM had never carried it, and she had never heard of it. In the meantime, the grocery stocker walked away, saying they did carry it. He walked right to it on the other end of the aisle and picked it up. She rushed down and was exclaiming about it. She told me she bought a half pint or pint every two weeks in order the make cornbread for her husband.

When I told her how to make a buttermilk substitute using milk with either lemon or vinegar, she exclaimed again. Now, she is going to use something besides buttermilk.  The saving is only about $0.15. At least she now knows two other ways to have buttermilk.

This product must be refrigerated after opening. I just could not resist a little taste. It is wonderfully milky-sweet and then suddenly very vinegar-like in a good way. I doubt the blend will be in danger if it is not in the refrigerator tonight. However, I will put it in a pint jar before putting it in the refrigerator. The canister is heavy cardboard, but I would worry about the plastic lid letting in air or moisture.
Ingredients: A cultured blend of sweet cream churned buttermilk, sweet dairy whey, and lactic acid. That sounds like a good blend that is not artificial. Or, is it?

Your turn
Have you ever used the Saco Cultured Buttermilk Blend, a buttermilk substitute?

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Frozen Faucets!

Trying to save a plumber bill and much aggravation, I stayed up until 6 am. All night I washed clothing, washed dishes in dishwasher, ran water hard in the sinks and backed it up to more than a trickle, and flushed the commode. I placed candles under the claw foot tub and put a lamp under the kitchen sink.

 I slept until 11 am or noon. I awoke to disaster. The tub faucet was frozen with six-inch icicles hanging from the faucets and frozen water in the tub. The cold water in the bathroom sink was frozen solid. In the kitchen sink hot and cold were almost frozen. When I opened the faucet more, water sputtered and eventually broke loose to run free.

What a mess. Water, once again, was all over the kitchen floor, further under the table. I will never turn the water on in the sink to keep it from freezing. A cheap heater, battery heater, another lamp, or a pipe wrap in the basement will be used! Foam for pipes or pool tubes is on the list for next week. I don't know how I will afford it, but I don't trust the weather not to do this again this winter. The middle of February is when our bad weather ends. I don't believe it this year.

The water ran from the dishwasher under more boxes. This is one way to de clutter the kitchen. sigh...I do not want to ruin the finish on the 112-yr-old original floor, painted in 1977 to suit me.

The Wednesday night church dinner was cancelled due to weather. Fred and I ate at McD. Then, I went to Walmart. It is too cold in the house for me to spend 24 hours a day here. I just have to get a bit warm for a while.

Patsy Cline and Thelma were alive and seemed to be doing well. Their water was barely frozen. They rush to the warm water I pour on the ice in the morning. This morning, I pulled a 1" diameter circular piece of ice from the waterer. I took a finger and poked the ice out this afternoon. Once again, the girls were very thirsty. Tomorrow, the temperature will be above freezing. That means I can take the waterer apart.  I have plans to put more insulation on the watering container and the heater.

Exbf  usually works at 6 am, meaning he leaves at 4:30 to 4:45 am. He had Tuesday and Wednesday off. Today, he said work called him to tell him to be there at 9 am, three hours later tomorrow. He said the east-west route to work was clear. However, Interstate 65 is where the snow, ice, and children spending the night in school is occurring. After over 70 hours of freezing weather and the foot+ of snow, nothing will thaw quickly when it reaches 42 F tomorrow afternoon.

Patti said her son and children arrived home at 2 am after he picked them up from school. This is in Roswell, GA.

No editing because my fingers are too cold, and I need to get water-soaked paper from the kitchen floor.

Your turn
Does anyone have relatives or yourself with frozen pipes did not thaw as easily as mine? How are your animals in the horrid, cold weather?

More Surveys to Make Money

Here is a new opportunity to sign up on your own with Pinecone. Ten survey sites are on the list. Swagbucks is the only other one with which I am acquainted. If you were just rejected, try this avenue. They are looking for certain ages and demographics. Maybe this is a better fit for you.

I posted this right on top of another post, so keep going to read it.

Lots of Nothings and Very Long

Let me tell you: I am freezing and did freeze most of the day. I was freezing in the car, walking to take care of my hens, going into stores, and in my house. I was cold. I got up late because I went to bed late. (more about that later) I took my thyroid medicine, read email for about ten minutes, bathed, dressed and fixed my hair. All this took place in an hour.

My hens looked frigid when I went to feed them. The temperature was 17 F. They got to stay in the pen. Once in a while I get nervous about leaving them out when I am gone. They dig a hole in the leaves and pine straw, sit in the hole, fluff their feathers, and pull in their head to their body.

Every fourth Tuesday, a church has a dinner at 11:30 a.m. for anyone in town. The very poor, politicians, police, people taking lunch from offices--all come. My friend Fred was there, so I had not just someone to talk with who is interesting. There was turkey soup, cornbread muffins, desserts, and unsweetened tea. The boil of soup was absolutely boiling, but it was good since it was literally freezing in my house. At 12:30, I brought home three cornbread muffins for the hens and a bowl of soup for me.

After I fed the hens again, I left on icy roads to go to Walmart, grocery store, thrift bread store, OM and the gas station, but not in that order. The car never heated up because in this small town, there is no chance for the car to ever get warm! The streets were abandoned. All stores owned locally were closed.

At the grocery store, I cashed a check from one of my secret shopper jobs. I needed that money because I had less than a dollar. At the grocery store, the aisles were empty. I took the chance to go up and down every single aisle to see what was marked down and not on sale. Usually, I never even try at this store. I found a quart of milk on sale, a pint of chocolate milk that I translated into hot chocolate later at home. My favorite brand of bologna was on sale...sooo.. Then, since I had to take medicine, I got a quarter bottle of water from the shelf. They do sell Dasani and Aquafina, but they also break a pack of their store brand 12-packs of water and sell them individually.

When I went into this store, I was afraid of walking on the ice, but made it. On the way out I rode the electric cart and asked for an employee to help me and get the cart out of the way. I usually park it where no one will run over it, and just walk the few feet to the car. A few feet was too dangerous today. I got into the car and had the guy hand me everything, even my purse.

Then, I went to Walmart. It was deserted! I shopped for an external drive. I have figured out how I can use my rewards and cards and get it for nothing. I need to move everything to an external hard drive, put my computer back to factory settings, and then put everything back onto my computer, trusting that everything will happen as it should--nothing harmful will be allowed back on the computer hard--drive. Or, I can get a large capacity flash drive and do the same thing with that. So, I finished looking at the hard-drive.

There were several things I looked at, forgot what! You should have just asked me earlier. I am tired now. As I was at the register, asking about a gift card and which I could buy with a WM gift card, a young woman brought my notebook that I keep all receipts taped into. That is for another post. At any rate, I bought a chicken finger just before I left because I was cold and hungry. I put a $1.37 pizza into the cart. I really have only the paycheck and reimbursement for my mystery shopping, so I was not going to spend much.

At the thrift bread store, I got out of the car gingerly, walked to the door, and saw the closed sign. Ack. I want bread and cheap, healthful  bread.

I needed to go to Office Max and compare prices on the external hard drive to get it with my MaxPerks credit there. It was very icy looking when I walked to the door. The last customer left the store at 4 pm, about 30 seconds before I arrived at the door! I nervous because the temperature was dropping rapidly and I did not want to fall.

By this time it was 4 pm. The chickens needed to eat before they went to bed. But, I still needed gas because by this time, the car was running on fumes. A child who was a friend of my son, all grown up now, just bought a service station, runs it himself with some help from employees. It is a full service station. I never pay for full service, ever! However, my hands hurt from the cold with warm gloves on. Sooo, I pulled in and was met my the cheeriest smile. I only got $10 worth because I was afraid of the price. However, it was only $3.15 while the cheapest regular is at my normal station--$3.05. I was willing to pay almost anything NOT to pump gas.

I really felt pampered having gas pumped for me. I need to feel pampered because I am so cold and miserable.

Back home, I fed the hens cornbread and oats. Then, I noticed their water had frozen. I ran inside and got a huge insulated cup, about a quart, of boiling water, Gorilla Tape, new light bulb, and more food. As I set the water down on the ground, I poured boiling water into it and Thelma and Patsy Cline rushed over and drank and drank and drank. Poor things. Not enough water could kill them!

The bulb I thought had blown was okay. There are two nickel sized holes in the side of one of the components of the water heater near the top that had not been covered, so a huge piece of Gorilla Tape should have fixed that. However, since if was 14 F outside, the tape froze and would not stick. By pressing really hard and rubbing it, I think I made the tape stick.

Whew!  It was a hard day and not over yet.

Since it is going to be below 10F and is now 13 F, I am still up at midnight. All evening, I have been busy sopping up water with newspaper. I leave the sink running a bit. I figured out why the dishwasher had run all over the floor! When the water is running continually in the sink, the dishwasher fills up. I walked in about 6:30  pm and found water POURING from the dishwasher all over the kitchen. Grrrr! Now, I have to monitor it. The lamp is under the sink.

Since 5 pm, I have washed clothes several times to keep the pump in the washer and the pipes that drain and take water to the washer from freezing.  There are loads of things I need to wash. I still have a load or red and one of pink to wash, also one of black. The loads previous have been white clothes of various sorts.

The second load is going into the dishwasher in a few minutes. In the last two weeks, I have washed 7 loads in the dishwasher to keep it from freezing. We had a warm spell in between these two frigid periods.  I really don't have that many dishes. I put things in that needed to be washed so I could run the water without just wasting it. I took things out of the upper cabinets that are dusty and need to be packed away and washed them.

I flush the commode for no reason and allow the sink to run. Robbing a bank may be the only way to pay the water and electric bill!

I stopped writing and went out to cover my bulbs in pots. A sheet is now covering them. I know the fabric is not supposed to touch the plants, but I cannot care that much when it is now 13 F. 

And, I met a nice man in Walmart--former military, former farmer, now a security guard. We talked on the phone and he wants to talk with me again.

Have you seen the mess in south Alabama? People had been stranded in their cars on the interstate for over eight hours into the evening. Some actually got out and walked home with their children on the now frozen interstate! Newsman walked home. There are hills on the interstate and Red Mountain Parkway. Two vehicles drove into a river. Children cannot get home from school because their parents cannot drive to pick them up. Six inches fell in thirty minutes, I think. Exbf is snowed-in at home. Tuesday and Wednesday were his days off. We got a dusting, just enough on my concrete steps and sidewalk to get slippery eventually. I have a bucket of sand.

Tonight, I will stay up all night running water in sinks, checking dishwasher and washing another load, flushing commode, running water, hot and cold, in bathroom sink.

Hopefully, I will get the picture problem on Picasa fixed.

No longer can I feel my fingers and toes. My chair is less that 3 ft from the heater!

I would eat at KFC tomorrow if I had the money. Eating hot food in a warm place is comforting.

This has had NO editing at all.

Your turn
Are you caught in the throes of this southern frigid spell?

Monday, January 27, 2014

Pinecone is taking referrals from me

The Treehouse Newsletter

Several people contacted me to join Pinecone Research for a chance to do surveys that are 100%guaranteed to earn $3. You will not get half through the survey and find out you are not qualified.

There are household questions that enable you to be on many different surveys. But, you know upfront that this is NOT a survey.

Today, I was contacted by Pinecone to refer friends. If you want me to send you the information, email me at with the subject of "Pinecone for me".  Otherwise, I might not see your email.Then, and only then can I sent you the referral link. I cannot put it on my blog. I do not want to lose this gig.
Don't wait too long to contact me.

I make about $100 each year, but I spend little time doing surveys. Others make more than I. This free money would buy one or several Christmas gifts, depending how much you want to spend on gifts. There were times when that $3 on a cc-type card bought me a bit of gas in the car or a half-gallon of milk. At other times I let it just collect on the card and have been able to buy a gift for someone, Christmas or birthday gift. I think I have $6 on it now.

Often, they send products to try.

subject:  "Pinecone for me"  without italic or quotes is fine.

I get nothing for the referral!

Your turn
Does anyone participate in Pinecone surveys?

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Thelma 's Groove

(no pictures thanks to whatever has my computer and Picasa in its grip.)

Apparently, Thelma will be contributing to the economy around here once again. After months of barely giving me an egg each month, she decided she would lay again. In the last two weeks, she surprised me by laying day after day. Okay, sometimes she just lays every other day. She is not a regular in her comeback.

The first time I found two eggs snuggled in the Rubbermaid laying box a few days ago, my heart melted. I thought that five-year-old Thelma had finally quit laying. But, no, she lays when there is single digit weather at night and 10 F in the day. She laid during the period of 70 hours of sub-freezing weather.

Four eggs each week from her and six from Patsy Cline means I don't have to ration the eggs I eat. Even seven eggs total sure beats the one egg per week I got for a while!

My frozen eggs got me through the winter even though I did not use all I froze. The day will come when I do need them, I am quite sure.

Right now, we are having 13 hours of dark and 11 hours of daylight. I suppose the light is sufficient for both hens to lay more eggs for me. Well, I appropriate the eggs. They don't decide they will give Linda a present or a thrill and drop eggs.

As I have gathered eggs for over four years, I ponder one thing. Do they feel any sense of accomplishment as they push the egg out? Or is it like a bowel movement we have, just a relief and something that must be done?

I have read that their egg song is not an announcement, just a call to find the other hens. When the hen sat to lay, the other jungle fowl might wander away. The thinking is that the hens still call out for their companions even though their may be a coop full of hens nearby. The commotion they cause with their song certainly brings me running when they just don't hush after five minutes.

Your turn
Do you ever ponder a hen's feelings or motivation when an egg is left in the nest? I know. That is a lot of anthropomorphizing to lay onto a hen.  Have your hens started laying more as winter winds down?

Saturday, January 25, 2014

First Bunny $10 Birthday Reward

There will be no pictures today. Blogger, along with the rest of my computer is not working right. Although lots of "stuff" was removed, using a program to clean it made me cry.

Well, I suppose it is Picasa that is not working correctly. But, it's all related. Picasa is on my computer.

Remember the Walmart deal with Energizer batteries?  I got my first $10 gift card, took a picture, and I cannot move it to my blog. So, just visualize it.

It's not my birthday, just Energizer Bunny's birthday.

Your turn
Did anyone take advantage of the Walmart/Energizer deal? There are still packages with peelies left.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

A New Kind of Coupon/Savings

Checkout 51

I first saw this on I Heart the Mart and decided to look into the site. Last week if you bought $20 at Walmart, you could come home and send in a copy of your receipt and receive $10 credit or cash, forgot which. Sorry. Then, they added a bonus $2 rebate.

At any rate, you do not have to have a coupon with you to get many of these rebates. You can see how this works right here at Coupon 51.

Today, I saw that there is an app for that. You can, like I, just do it all on your computer without having an app.

If you check it out, I would appreciate any feedback. This week, I noticed there is $0.50 off any brand of oj.

I am so cold as I type! brrr!

Your turn
Has anyone heard of this before? Have you used it? If you look at the site, give me any feedback that you can.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The Plan Not Executed

Crystal Kiss
$20 retail
(nothing to do with post, just a pretty find)

The Plan:
This is a large economy in my opinion. This is in the planning stage but might help you save money.

Last December or November, I bought 20 Energizer batteries at Office Max for $16.99 and received a credit on my OM Perks card of $16.98. The ad proclaimed the batteries would cost 1 cent. I received that $16.98 this week, ready for me to spend.

Besides that amount, I also had $2.43 on the MaxPerks card from recycling toners and cartridges.

Then, when I bought a Coke while my marathon session of waiting for the fifteen-minute checkup, I received a receipt that made my heart sing. Just for doing an online survey, I received "$5 off next $25 purchase" offer.

$16.98 + $2.43= $18.55 +$5 = $23.55  !!!
$25.00 - 23.55= $1.45

I must pay $1.45 for a $25 purchase.
Of course, there is a 9% sales tax to pay on the $25 purchase: 0.09 x $2.25.

$2.25 +$1.45= $3.70 I must pay $3.70 for a $25 purchase. Now, the next thing to do is find a sale so that my money spent at OM is maximized.

The plan just needs to be executed when I have $3.70 and find a good sale on something I need.

I have a faulty Lexar SD card that I need to return for about $9 credit. Sooo, this may get even better!

When I try to convince others that recycling and sales at OM are good, they poo poo my idea as a really an expensive indulgence. Maybe you don't have a printer, but you may know people who do. The battery deal did not require anything but a desire to have batteries. Of course, you have to have money to begin with. I may have gotten those batteries with MaxPerks and spent nothing on them. I forgot.

This might be a good place and time to pick up a few birthday or Christmas gifts! I do hope the big grandkids in NYC like batteries and socks for Christmas. Even when I buy anything for my own use, it must be on sale, so this will require thought.  {{{happy dance}}}

I did not put in these huge gaps in text. Okay?

Your turn
Have you tried any of the schemes plans for savings in the OM ads? Have you looked into the deals? Staples might have the same deals. I know they have the recycling.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Spending the Day at Office Max

In order to clear my blog of the virus reported on my blog and by others, I spent much of the day at OM. I took the computer at noonish and brought it home after 5pm. The free checkup lasted almost five whole hours and never did complete the first quarter of the program. So, I just brought it home.

Tomorrow, I will return to OM earlier. I am exhausted! So, for those of you to whom I promised it would be fixed today, I failed.

I stayed because I was told it would only take 15 or 20 minutes. However, it appears I have too many files on my computer. ???

This has to be free! Got any suggestions?

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Broken and Replaced, Thankfully

Shiny bright and new
with metal wheels
wheel broken

The old wagon was given to me as a second hand wagon, cheap from Walmart. It was shiny new, barely used. But, it did the job. 

Exbf kept running it hard  into and up a step from the back to front yard--one concrete step. He was annoyed by my reminding him not to hit the step. Finally, I said very calmly that I could not afford to replace it. So, he was more gentle. Then, it finally broke. I was distraught because I had no money. He bought me a new one after I asked. I was very grateful for his help. I did not blame him for breaking it because the wheels were plastic. Now, there are metal wheels.

The old wagon lasted six years, so the new one should last the rest of my life. The cheap wagon would have suited me just fine. For some reason, the cheaper wagon was never available during the Christmas holiday this year.

Inside the old wagon there is something broken off on the bottom of the wagon. See it? A bolt?  Maybe I can figure out how it goes back together. I plan to find other wheels, metal hopefully, but plastic if that is all there is. I searched for more wheels for a week, online and in stores here. I had to have a wagon, my assisstive device. If I could have waited longer, the wagon could have been fixed.

There were only a period of nine days that I had no wagon. The wagon helps me to bring in groceries and all sorts of things. I used it today to hang clothing outdoors. I put the laundry in the wagon, pulled it to the clothes line and did not have to carry so far or bend so far, so many times. Exbf uses the wagon because of his two hips that need replacing.

Your turn
Have you been forced to spend more money than necessary because you absolutely need something NOW? Does a wagon help you to carry things beyond your ability or to keep from hurting yourself?

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Craft in America

"My family was an aspiring family. The worst thing that could happen to us was to fall into the poverty of the homemade."  I wonder how many people felt this way, yet went on to become masters at their homemade and now sell it for great profit.

This statement was made by a carver on "Holiday," a PBS episode of Craft in America. There are 11 episodes, so maybe you will have free time after the first of the year.

I was watching episode XI, "Holiday," when I wrote this. The series is fascinating. Eventually, I will watch the other 10 episodes.

At the top of the page is a "change station" button. Right now, this is PBS in Alabama.

Your turn
What crafts do you practice? Can you see a beginning from your youth or in your cultural heritage. Does practicing a craft fulfill a deep need? Does it make you happy? Take away stress?

Friday, January 17, 2014

Free Beans, Eggs; and Frugal Day of Eating

dinner today
Today was a very frugal day of eating. The beans and breakfast eggs were free. The rest was on sale and cooked previously, leftovers

I arose late today, ate breakfast and lunch late. Here is the total of what I have eaten today.

4 eggs     Free from hens
bacon     $0.20
oj            $0.17
cheese    $0.25
milk        $0.20
turkey     $0.25
beans      Free from dinner
total        $1.07

Now, I may have a bowl of oats tonight before bed if I am hungry. I will make that $0.25. So, I could say today was a $1.32 for the day.

x 30 days
$41.10 for a month
Why four eggs for breakfast?
I have to leave here by 6:20 in the morning. So, I was going to make breakfast for Saturday, too. I sat here enjoying the eggs and had one bite of  bacon and one bite of eggs/cheese left when I realized what I had done! I ate breakfast for tomorrow! I have never eaten four eggs at one time! You can guess that I was not hungry for hours and had no bouts of hypoglycemia today. 
The free green beans? I went to a church dinner where I asked for seconds of dinner--lasagna,green beans bread and dessert. I did not want bread or dessert seconds. I had not eaten the bread and only had banana pudding for dessert.

how it started

There was about a gallon of green beans ready for the trash when I asked for seconds. The guy was already complaining about throwing away food. When he heard I wanted seconds, he insisted on dipping out this huge container of green beans. I was soooo happy. There must be three cups of green beans, my favorite vegetable. Okay, I have lots of favorite vegetables.
I partially heated the beans in a bowl, put the turkey on top and finished heating it. Even though I had oj, I still wanted the juicy orange for dinner.
There was no attempt to eat cheaply today. I was feeling puny and just ate a bit. But, I am full. It was just what I had here that I wanted.
I suppose I will cook breakfast for tomorrow or make oats in the morning. Next time, I will leave the extra scrambled eggs with cheese and bacon in the kitchen!
Your turn
Do you ever eat so frugally? Do you ever figure what your day of eating costs you? Would you have taken the green beans? 

My Blog is Free of Spam, Virus, or Whatever it Had

I saved money and fixed it myself. Yay me! Okay, you can come out now. It's gone. Actually, AVG, a free virus fighter keeps me safe as can be. It isolates the bad stuff, just locks it down. You saw what my AVG had quarantined.

Try the free version of AVG.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Frugal Redecorating

People too often spend lots of money on redecorating. Tony did not. Tony redecorated for less than $30. I went to his house to take a picture of his leaning shed. He wanted me to come in and see what he had painted. The curtains in the brown dining room were already there.
 Notice how they are extended beyond both sides of the window.

Then, look on the opposite wall below.
Note the design on the left wall.
Now, note the curtain design in the first picture. He said he decided he wanted to "do something." He drew the design on the two walls above, a corner, mirroring the curtains on the opposite wall. At Lowe's he bought paint in tiny bottles to paint the design, pints I think. I think the green was purchased in a quart, but he only used half of it. In these first three pictures you see the dark brown walls he painted last year. He did "something" that made a difference in the look and satisfied him. 

Christmas tree in dining room
To the right of the tree is the painted wall. I love how he matched the tree ornaments to the paint and the curtains. So clever.
Christmas decorations for the dining table.
This is his dining room table, decorated for Christmas with amaryllis, turquoise ball, candles and peacock feathers in glass vases. Everything was from his supplies of wedding accessories. He mentioned the dining table also was his desk. This is so pretty that his papers on the table are barely noticeable.
He changed the look of the room with only $30 worth of paint and a little recycling and talent.
Kitchen view
I just love the view into his kitchen as I turned from the dining table. Of course, the ornaments colors from the dining room blend seamlessly into the kitchen and the pot rack.
He is the friend who took Molly for me. You can see the room color in the dining room here.  There, he is sitting in the living room, but you can see the brown wall in the dining room and the pot rack beyond.
I think his $30 with a lot of talent was well-spent. He did not change the whole room to make an impact.
Your turn
Maybe this is not your style, but do you think he did well with his investment? Do you ever change/redecorate one area of a room to achieve a different look? You can tell me how you changed something for little investment. I would like to hear.


Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Giveaway: Food Storage

Angela at Food Storage and Survival has a giveaway of a Mountain House Breakfast Assortment. I am excited because I have never even seen these buckets of food, much less tasted the food. Maybe you would like to enter, too.

Just a Leaning

A tired building just waiting
Saving this building will be much cheaper than building anew. I have viewed the back of the garage since 1977. See the pine tree over the right side of the roof? That is my tree. So are several of the others.
My neighbor around the corner has this ancient garage that intrigues me with its lean. I have been meaning to take a picture for ages. Today, I stopped and asked. He is going to have to remove it, so I am just in time. He hopes to save it. Tony is a florist who gave up the business but still has all the decorations/props for the wedding he still enjoys. He stored everything here, so he still needs a studio.
By the way, his house is in great condition. The garage was built on the ground, not something he would do. The garage was barely leaning until we had a big wind, then the garage submitted to the insistence of nature. Until today, the garage was jam-packed with florist wedding pieces. The old flower cooler is all that is left. The rest was in the yard.
Look to the far left of the picture. 

a romantic door
The door intrigues me. It has just been set out of the garage. That and the metal in front of it are wedding trappings. I want a door like that, really, just like that. The table is a rough table he sometimes uses for weddings. 

 Jackson vine/Smilax
The old bike belonged to Tony's mother. He painted it and used it in the window of his florist shop. I think he said he used it for wedding decorations. When he closed his shop, he hung it on this wall of the garage and nature took over.
Even though I know exactly who owned the bike and how it came to be here, I imagine that some woman or girl hung her bike on the wall, intending to return. For an unknown reason, she never came back. Life went on and the vines partially obscured her bike. Yes, I have written the story.
The evergreen vine is not all Jackson vine. Some of those, the reddish vines, are thorn vines. The leaves are a glossy heart shape and the vines have lethal thorns about 3/4 inches long. The roots or tubers, not sure which, are about six-inches under the ground, about ten-inches long, and three-inches in diameter. Ask me how I know.
Jackson Smilax is the vine Southerners put on their table when Stonewall Jackson graced their homes. So, this was my little side-trip today while exbf was at my house doing things I cannot do.
Your turn
Do you ever watch a building or object that others probably don't even notice. Do you watch its progress and care what happens next? 

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Remains of the bowl

remains of the trifle bowl

The drink can is for comparison.
1/4  thick where broken
The top, jagged edge is what hit my leg after the trifle bowl broke. Only my pants saved my skin from being cut. 

Another Giant Rooster

I saw a new rooster
I went to Moulton again. And, there was a new rooster, elevated so high it broke my neck to take a picture. 
I saw this one last time.
Don't you think this is the same rooster, just repainted? Look at the lines! Yes, repainted. I have not had a vacation in thirty years, so I think I am just getting crazy about any little thing different.
There is a cow where this was last time. The colored rooster is down the road. Folks in the town where I found these and the cow really love their giant animals. 
Next time I go there, I am going to investigate. I just had to share with you. 

Monday, January 13, 2014

No pictures--too horrid!

Turkey Grease
Friday, when I was baking the turkey, I took it out and put it on the counter on two oven mitts. You remember they are not level on the counter? I did too. But, I made the pan level by putting a dishtowel under one edge.

Then, the baking bag full of boiling broth sort of slipped off the lip of the pan right at the edge of the counter, and greasy turkey broth was running onto the counter and front top edge of the dishwasher. I shrieked, grabbed for the dishtowel to hike up the front edge of the pan, making the broth level in the pan. At the same time I yelled for exbf to bring the towel on the towel rack. We had dried our hands on it only and it was one of the old, raggedy towels. Germs were not on my mind.

Ten seconds later the full, torn edge of the bag was hanging off the edge of the counter with greasy broth running down the front of the dishwasher into a puddle about ten inches across.  As I moved and saw the puddle, I stepped in it.

 I yelled for exbf to grab a bath towel. He brought me the only truly good bath towel on the shelf! So, I put it in the floor after I wiped the front of the dishwasher. It was horrid. I plated dinner and we ate. Later, I discovered the dishwasher was full of grease. I wiped and did a halfway job and went to bed. No, I did not clean it on Saturday. I had to leave early and got home and was exhausted. So, sue me for not cleaning up the mess.

Sunday night, I was ready to tackle the mess. I had just about finished emptying the dishwasher. Next, I was going to load it and clean the counter, front of dishwasher, and the floor.

Glass Trifle Bowl
One day last week, I decided I had better things to store in my cabinet than my trifle bowl, so I took it down from the cabinet where it has lived for thirty years. I debated as to whether to sell it or donate it. Tonight, I moved it from where the grease was on the counter, telling myself to remember not to break it.

The trifle bowl shattered right in the greasy place. Oh, the majority of the grease was wiped up, but not cleaned up. I had been avoiding stepping in the area. The trifle bowl landed almost on my foot. The footed stem remains with a horrible nasty jagged top that could have really injured me. It hit my pants, but not my skin, thankfully.

A delicious candy cane that was in the trifle bowl broke, too. I was saving that!

So, I might as well tell you now--I found a dead rat. When the rats were rampant, I wondered one day why the clothes basket in the kitchen had lots of washcloths spilling out. I wondered aloud to exbf about how all the clothes I just put there the day before got all over. He volunteered that he did not do it. I was already thinking that a rat must be dragging them out.

When I found the washcloths and socks out of the basket, I left them where they were and put one of the glue traps near a path they would take to get to the cloths. Last night, I was looking in the file cabinet that has lived behind the two doors that open and hide the corner and file cabinet. There on a box where the rat had dragged down from the basket up high, were my socks and washcloths. Should I throw out the sock where the rat died? Exbf says wash the sock. I say throw it out. Yes, I am going to wash the whole basket of clothes, actually about half full.

The poison finally killed all the rats. Now, I am finding them as I knew I would--dead in places I don't want dead rodents!

And so it goes
I must still clean up greasy floor, dishwasher, clean up glass, make a decision about my sock while I gag. I am afraid to touch anything for fear of multiplying this mess further. I will never bake a turkey on a boiler pan minus the slotted tray ever again. I invest in a deeper pan at the thrift store!!!!

Your turn
Should I wash the sock? Toss it? Call a cleanup crew for the kitchen? jk I know someone has had such a mess and catastrophies cascading. So, will you entertain me with your tale of woe?

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Can I plant this?

too far gone?

I got this from the chickens' produce box. The top was green, about an inch long. Then, the big freeze happened. It survived. The top grew to over four inches. It was green today, so I decided to seek your advice. Tonight, the top is yucky looking, sort of green. Can it be planted or something? Is it too far gone?
IF it were green, not soft, and healthy looking, could it be planted to make another onion?

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Declining QUALITY of Dinners

For the hens

(No one is declining my dinners. The quality of my dinners over the years has declined.)
Today, exbf was here to help me. Usually, I cook a good meal with lots of leftovers so he can take plenty home. At the very least I make a plate for him to take to work the next day to give him a delicious and nutritious meal, to help him so he won't have to pack lunch.

When he is here, I do more than on most normal days. Of course, I was busy and stressed most of this week, so I was still tired when he came. Today, we were busy and I was on my feet too much and we went out to do chores that had to be done. This was not a good food day. I mean "good food" as in nutritious and home made. Poor nutrition is all I could think.

When I first met him, I cooked lunch and dinner for him but never sent food home. Gradually, lunch became pb sandwich, grilled cheese, hot dog, chicken/turkey, lettuce, tomato sandwich from meat I cooked. Rarely did we eat lunch out. If we did, it was with a coupon. The coupon was my idea, but he likes coupons.

Thursday, I bought a $1.36 cheese pizza and put extra cheese on it for us for Friday lunch. I enjoyed it more than he did because I put Parmesan cheese on it--bitter he claimed. ???

A turkey had been out of the freezer for two weeks, thawed for about a week. I baked it in a turkey bag. However, I forgot to put on the pot of cabbage, carrots, and onions. So, at the last minute, I made boxed mashed potatoes and opened a can of green beans.  These were cheap, nasty tasting boxed potatoes that I was going to give away or use to thicken chicken food. I put some powdered cheese sauce in to salvage it. He did not like the cheese! Except for the turkey, I think he gagged dinner down. I ate seven hours ago and the turkey did not kill far.

This may have been the dinner with the poorest nutrition I have ever served him. But, he seemed so happy that he got two freezer bags with dark turkey meat. I took a clean dish cloth and ripped off the thighs and legs and dropped them into two bags as he held the bags. One goes into his freezer and the other will be eaten over the next few days. Several years ago, I picked the meat from the bones before I gave it to him. Now, I cannot stand that long after cooking and ripping the turkey apart. He does not mind this picking-the-meat-off-the-bone chore at his house.

I feel guilty because I thought the meal was so comforting. We did have cherries.

Next Tuesday when he comes, a casserole will be on the menu. Okay, maybe I will cook dinner the day before. Maybe I will freeze some of this turkey breast to top a salad. He would love that.

We did have cherries and chocolate chips.

Your turn
Have you ever served a dinner that lacks fresh or nutritious/frozen/home-canned vegetables but just fills you up? Did you find at the same time that the meal was tasty? Have you ever found that pain exhausts you?

Friday, January 10, 2014

Solar Powered Suntan Bed

Just harness the rays of the sun to power a suntan bed. That is what Delilah said. Ooops, Jenny said that.

Okay, Grimm was on, and I was desperate. Grimm scares the daylight out of me.

Raising Hope is hilarious. I have no idea what it is about, but it seems to be so stupid that it is hilarious.

Your turn
Does anyone watch this sitcom? Anyone like it?

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Whew! It's Over!

No pipes burst.
The hens did not freeze to death.
Whatever was wrong with the dishwasher is healed.
I awoke HOT!
The tiny, prepolarvortex drip/leak from the washing machine is much worse. It  now run/trickles, through the laundry room floor on the ground floor and into  the basement ceiling and onto floor.
Lamps and candles for heat are retired. I used a total of 16 tea light candles and four matches.

It is 50 degrees now.
I will leave at 5:30 for a church dinner.
Then, I will go to Walmart.
The car has not been moved since Sunday! It will start.
Now, I can cook!

My all-night vigils with the pipes and candles and lamps paid off!
Hens are in their roost, and all's right with the world.

Nope, they came to get me to feed them one last time!

Your turn
Did you work hard to keep things from freezing, including extra work during the freeze?
Was anything actually damaged? Did you lose any utilities? Have any tree damage, wind damage, ice damage to trees? Have a vehicle slide off the road?  Anyone fall and break a limb? Get cold indoors?

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Online Store Circulars and Coupon Information

Saving money? Let me introduce you to three online resources to increase your coupon savings and your efficiency. Maybe you have tried some of these resources.

I found a feature in my online local newspaper  that interests me. I usually buy the Sunday paper from my hometown and from Birmingham. Our Walmart will "price match" all ads in about a 60-mile radius, even if I am not able to get my hands on a newspaper or choose not to purchase a newspaper. If there are no coupons in the paper, all the newspapers are sold, or I cannot get out, I can use this feature and still have access to ads and deals I might want to check out. Maybe you can find this feature in your local paper.

Refer to ad picture.I clicked on the small icon for CVS and got an ad. A viewer can turn the pages. Plus, the ad for each product can be enlarged to easily read. Blogger insists the picture be at the head of this post, not where I wanted it!

2) There are sites that inform readers which insert (P&G, Smart Source, Red Plum and others) are in the Sunday papers. Google "coupon inserts 2014" to get other sites that list coupon inserts. I chose this site at random. There are other features also--"How to save money without coupons."

Here is a sample of the format for coupon inserts:
January 5 — (2) Redplum, (2) Smart Source
12 — Redplum & Smart Source
19 — Smart Source
26 — (2) Redplum & Smart Source & Procter and Gamble

Yes, I did get four coupon inserts in the Birmingham News last Sunday. I use this feature before I go purchase a paper to know which inserts should be in the paper! Okay, some days I forget. That makes for a real hassle, going through multiple papers to determine the most common number of newspaper inserts for each insert..

3) Plus, there is one site with "Sunday coupon previews" that even lists the coupons  in the inserts and tells when the coupon expires. That was a "wow" moment for me. You cannot order coupons or print from this site. Here is a sample from the site with a partial list from Red Plum.

Sunday Coupon Preview
Regional coupon inserts & value differences are to be expected!
(x) before coupon = multiple of same coupon
ETS = excludes trial sizes

Emergen-C $1.50/1 vitamin supplement drink mix 10ct+ (2/28)
Gain $.50/1 detergent or fabric enhancer (2/28) ETS
Gain $1/2 detergents or fabric enhancer (2/28) ETS
Garnier $2/1 moisturizer (3/8)

If you can use any of these three sources, you can spend less time on the coupon search!  There are many sites that have the coupon information like the last two examples. Just google for other similar site. The first resource will possibly be in your copy of your local online newspaper. Or, look for ads on a site of a nearby city.

Have fun!

Your turn
Do you ever use any of these sites--local, insert sites, or coupon lists--to help you make decisions and save money? What sites do you use?

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Save $30

Kenmore Glass Turntable Plate / Tray 9 3/4 Inches G005 - Click Image to Close
microwave plate/tray

Have you ever broken the glass plate/tray on the microwave turntable?  I didn't, but something boiled over and the food cooked on the glass.  I took it out to wash it in the dishwasher. When I needed to heat chocolate milk, it was not clean because I put it in the sink and not into the dishwasher!

With this frigid weather, I was going to have hot chocolate. Instead of the glass plate, I used a regular plate, an old white Corelle (glass plate) from years ago.

Out of curiosity, I googled  Kenmore replacements, I found that replacements cost from $25 to $38, way above my budget if I did break the plate! To replace my 10-inch plate costs too much for me. I bought a $39 microwave twice so buying another cheap one would seem better than buying an expensive plate. My current microwave has lasted much longer and cost $120 about 20 years ago.

Instead of buying a cheap microwave or buying a $30 plate, just use an old plate or any old plate from the thrift store. Did you know that there are glass plates that are from non-working microwaves. Often there are stacks in the thrift store.

Your turn
Have you been faced with needing another glass plate for the floor of your microwave? How did you solve the problem of a missing plate? What did you use? Did you buy a new microwave? Did you order a new plate? Did you find a glass microwave plate in the thrift store?

Frozen Tub!

ice between drain and blue cloth
Click to biggify

Can you see the ice between the drain and the blue cloth?  Every faucet was "stuck." When I barely opened the faucet, eventually the faucet dripped a bit. All the red stuff splattered about the drain is from the faucet eventually "thawing" a bit.
Four votive candles on a saucer are under the tub as near to drain and pipes as I can get it. There will be no picture. There are flames, dirty saucer, and spider webs!

on my lap

blanket around my shoulder
black coat with food drip
washing machine water runs into washer and drains
faucets in the kitchen run and drain
tub still has the ice chunk but now both faucets in the tub run and drain
bathroom sink faucets run and drain.
the dishwasher will not drain, but there is still a light under the kitchen sink right next to dishwasher
I need to put candles in the dishwasher! NOW!
I went to bed last night after testing water everywhere every few minutes. I did forget to leave them running! I was so tired I was reeling. This morning each faucet felt "stuck" but opened up after a few minutes.
It is 12F up from 4F.
David, how did you make it?
Your turn
How is it going in the frigid places? NO, Janet, you don't have to report on your balmy
No editing occurred in this post!


Monday, January 6, 2014

Fire in the Dishwasher

four tea light candles in a bowl
forget the wrong date

My budget cannot stand this hit. The dishwasher was open, not standing open, just not latched. I moved in front and tried to close it, but it was tight. Thinking a fork or something had gotten sideways and was hindering the door closing, I searched for the offending utensil. Nothing was there. Wondering if something was in the door hinge at the bottom, I leaned the door down.
Horrified, I stared at the ice and then felt it. I tried to use the "Drain" button but only got a buzz. I tried to run the cycle and got a buzz.
Then, I poured a couple of quarts of hot water and tried the "drain" option again. Nothing was working. I know this is in the pump.
Finally, I yanked out the bottom rack and the utensil holder on the door. The four tea light candles are changing the temperature in the dishwasher from frigid to cold. There is a wall between the dishwasher and under the sink.
When the dishwasher was installed about 25-years ago, the guy put it in crooked and barely caught the under edge of the counter. Now, every time I pull out top or bottom rack, the whole dishwasher tips out. maybe my hair dryer will help by letting the whole dishwasher tip out. Then, I can blow air back there.
I ran to the washer and ran a whole tub of warm water. Now, let's see if it will drain down the pipe. This drain is about six inches over the basement door that will not close fully....argh.
Okay, water is draining from the washer. Thankfully, the drain has not frozen nor has either water pipe. I checked the bathroom sink and commode.
The dishwasher is actually hot inside and the ice has melted so the candles were a success. Now, to blow the hairdryer  behind the dishwasher. (didn't do that since I cannot tip the dishwasher with water in it)
By the way, the stove that sits about a foot from the dishwasher door was on 350 degrees for about thirty-minutes while I cooked. See, I told you it was cold in here!
I am going to put the candles under the sink and hope I don't burn the place down.

UPDATE: Never mind. Cancel the candles under the sink. I put under the sink a junky lamp I got for utility purposes, possibly for the hens. I will not go to bed until daylight when the temperatures are rising, but still not above freezing.
Your turn
Has anything frozen at your house? I do know that things can freeze, but if they don't freeze hard or for a distance in the pipes, they might survive the freeze.

We Can Never Make Enough Money

Do we need another Henry Ford? I was shocked at the sentiment of Caterpillar.

Soooo, cold

It is 11 degrees F. The wind chill is 4 degrees F. I could never live up north. The hens' water freezes often! It is so cold going out there to tend to them every hour.  brrrr

I will have a post when the frigidity leaves my bones.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Banana in My Bed

4 bananas in a box and wrapped in a blanket
 Before I went to bed Friday night, I decided I would lose all these bananas. I don't mind bruised bananas. I do mind the mush of a previously frozen banana.  I had a box and a throw and a lamp still on. The bananas did not freeze overnight, so I am calling this a success. I contemplated taking them to bed with me and putting them under the covers, just like the chick.

That book is on the top of a stack of books by the lamp, not levitating.

Somehow, a chick in a towel and in box under my covers was okay. This was not. 

Bananas are still very cold!
12" x 12" x 12" box

In the summer, I have been known to take on many occasions two huge trays of bananas into my bedroom because there is no ac turned on at night in the hot kitchen and den.
Must protect bananas at all cost!
Sunday morning
The temperature of the bananas has risen. The bananas are still warm enough which means they are neither cold nor warm today. As I eat them at the rate of one a day, they will last through this frigid spell. Today, I will make the obligatory food run for snow. Really, I need milk and maybe two more bananas. Otherwise, I will not want for anything.
Your turn
Is your kitchen so cold you must protect your bananas or any food from the cold? Don't you think bananas are fragile when it comes to temperature? 

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Will it kill me?

testing fate?

Since the holidays were approaching, I bought the obligatory foods for Christmas and New Year's celebrations that I like. That's right, I can celebrate alone, just food and me. The night I bought all this, I rushed in with half a dozen plastic bags, dumped it on the couch and ran to the bathroom.

 It was chilly and getting colder, so I turned on the heater, changed out of clothes I wore out and bundled on some warmer clothing. I grabbed a few bags and went to put the contents away. As the night wore on, I brought some items from the dryer and dumped those on the couch. The dried laundry was not freshly dried and hot.

As hours and days rolled by, I sporadically searched for the sour cream. The refrigerator was the target of one search. Nope. The sour cream was not to be found.

Finally, on day four or five I accidentally found the little container all alone in a bag and sort of scrunched down, looking as though it were an empty bag on the sofa amongst other bags I put there to fold away and put into another bag for reuse.

What to do?


I opened it and looked in. Some of the tiny bit of liquid spilled on me. Hence, the bowl.

What to do?

smells okay

I smelled it.



Since it was not separated, did not smell unlike sour cream and had no mold, I contemplated eating it....for about five seconds. It was okay!

When exbf came in from the yard, I posed the question to him: "Smell this. Do you think this sour cream that has been on the sofa and not in the refrigerator is safe to eat? 

He was bending slightly to smell and sort of recoiled and bent to smell, "It might be spoiled."

It is fermented milk, "spoiled" milk, to begin with, just milk. I make buttermilk by putting it on the counter on a warm day and let it sit for 24 hours. This has been on the sofa covered, well-insulated, but clothes and plastic bags. That sofa sits on the coldest wall in this part of the house and is not near the heat, not that it ever gets warm in here. It was still cold!

"I don't know. I don't think I want to eat it."

teaspoon of liquid when dumped to mix
in French's Onion Soup Mix
still firm
no colors within
onion soup smells good

So, I ate it.
I did not die and don't think I took a chance. The odor was fine. There was not a breakdown in the texture of the sour cream with lots of liquid. It tasted like it should. There was no visual evidence that mold might be forming. I was 100% positive that I would be fine even though the sour cream spent 4 or 5 days out of the refrigerator. I don't believe the temperature was over 50, maybe 40 degrees these days it lived on the couch.
The sour cream would not be fed to anyone who did not have a chance to make a decision. Oh, I would serve it but reveal my slip. Let me make this clear--I would serve this to others, BUT I would reveal what happened. I would never serve food not stored properly and keep it a secret! People do need to have a choice as to whether to take a chance or not.
Your turn
Would you have been afraid to eat the sour cream? What other steps would you have taken to ensure the sour cream was okay to eat? Do you ever eat things that was not stored according to the "rules?"