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Friday, June 30, 2017

Eating Strawberry Tops?

My chickens love the tops of strawberries--the green caps. I even leave a bit of berry for their benefit. That may all stop soon.

Right now, I don't have anything to whiz strawberry tops. Chickens can eat them whole. When I read an article about eating the tops and using strawberry tops in different ways, my eyes were opened.

The ARTICLE gives many ways to use strawberry tops. That bit of green is surely as good for us as other greens.

Have you ever used strawberry tops other than in compost and as chicken food? Does this article inspire you to try to eat them?

Free Temptations

I have no idea why I received a coupon for free bag of Temptations treats for cats. I chose Seafood Medley treats for cats. They also help control tartar. No, I don't have a cat, but my nice neighbor does. This was $1.79 at the store. The coupon had my name and address on it. Anyone else get one of these?

My urologist appointment today was next door to the garage where I was taking my car for the tire problem. However, their was a wreck that almost kept me from getting to my appointment on time. After 1.5 hours, the wreck was still their and clogging my progress to my tire place. I had to find a different way to get to the doctor's office, but getting out was easy. The wreck must have been horrible to have not been cleared away.

I was feeling faint, feverish, and weak all over, so winding around searching for a different route to the doctor's office in the rain was so annoying. Plus, I was afraid I would be the next wreck! But, I had to go pick up my meds.

Going to the memorial service Friday for the young lady shot in Nashville is going to be difficult. I will go early so I will not have to walk so far. The forecast is for heavy rain! ugh Lovely.

I feel so sick that I told exbf not to come tomorrow, plus he would have to travel in hard rain on the start of the holiday weekend with all the crazies and drunks starting to celebrate early. And, I doubt I could really enjoy the Wonder Woman movie. I am looking forward to sleeping most of the day when I can get home.

My shoes I am wearing have to be picked up at the cobbler's, so it is just one worry and tiring thing after another, it seems. At least my clothes are ready.

Your turn
Did anyone get a Temptations coupon in the mail? When you are ill and must do things, does it ever seem like you don't have another ounce of yourself to give even when you want to do something?

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

My Poor Car

My car lives under oak trees. Oak trees, in case you don't know, drop limbs like crazy. I took a nap on Tuesday afternoon. I was in house or back yard if I went outside later in the afternoon. So, the huge limb was not apparent until I went out late and after dark.

About 10 pm, I decided to go to the store. As I got to the front of the car, I saw on the passenger side a huge mound of green leaves. This confused me since the air was still today. When I backed out, I saw the rest--a dead limb about 15 feet long and 10 inches in diameter right next to passenger door.

It was too dark to check the car, even in the parking lot with lights to see if there was damage done. Actually, since the car has had so many limbs fall on it, there are numerous dents, making it difficult to see a new dent in the dark.

The scary part is that the limb had so many little branches with leaves on it, but in the light of the headlights, even from inside the car, I could tell the limb was rotten. Thankfully, it did not hit me or someone mowing the yard. The limb was so rotten that it broke in three places. I did not notice that last detail until I came home this afternoon.

My car is white. Last fall, I paid a school car wash to wash it. In the latter part of winter and early spring people asked me if it was new or if I had just washed it. It stayed eerily clean for a car that had been sitting under a tree for six months or more. Until May, that is. Then, it looked like I drove through a mud puddle. Over and over! There was so much dirt and splashes on it. Now, it is disgracefully dirty with all the still-stuck oak pollen. When it is dirty, no one can see the dents from fallen limbs.

The rear tires feel low, so that has to be checked out soon. It feels mushy when I drive slowly, but the tires look properly inflated. No, I can no longer check the tires myself even though I have the tool.  One more thing that hurts to even try to do. Actually, it is excruciating to even try.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017


At the monthly lunch today, I was hit in the pit of the stomach by news of people in town. They lived near us. Our daughters played together.

It seems the young woman, same age as my younger daughter, was leaving her sister's house with children already in the car. As she stood outside, her ex-boyfriend drove up and she went out to talk with him. They had dated for four months and she broke up with him a week before.  They talked, were not loud or argumentative. As she turned to walk back to her sister, he shot her in the back of the head from close range. Then, he drove one block, parked, and shot himself. Now, this information does not jive with the newspaper account. However, a close relative told me this account.

My younger daughter, third child, played with this girl when they were little. They were in the same grade.

The father of the girl killed sat next to me. It was awkward, to say the least. This is the kind of thing a mother's heart worries about when daughters are older. From what everyone knew of this guy, he was okay and seemingly incapable of this horrific act. So, two children are motherless. Four children, hers and her sister's two children are traumatized.

HERE is the local paper's report. It was also reported in Nashville and Atlanta news, among others.

At the lunch the men of the church grilled hamburgers and hot dogs for the Fourth. I ate two hot dogs, slaw, lettuce leaf and huge slice of tomato. I picked up the lettuce leaf with the tomato on it and just bit from it. This was not a bit messy, something I anticipated. Toward the end of the tomato and lettuce, it was sort of folded. Delicious food. I ate too much watermelon and had a slice of chocolate, un-iced bundt cake with chocolate chips in it.

I am going to the funeral. My friend who is a relative of the girl said we would have a meal afterwards at the church, furnished by the church. We do that in the South, but it's usually potluck.

While I was looking for the obituary, I discovered a long-time friend's husband died. Well, I knew his sisters and son well, too. I have seen his wife three or four times and just said "hello" as we passed in WM.  He was four years older than I. Both of these people died too young.

New Cake--Result of Using Up Ingredients

It all started with four large over-ripe bananas, almost black. Now, this banana is the best kind for me to eat--scrumptious. Plus, I had a Betty Crocker Delights Spice Cake with pudding in the mix. I was going to use a cup of mashed bananas. After I mashed three bananas, the measuring cup was not full. Hmmm, so I mashed the fourth banana and the cup was still not full. What gives?

Well, I was using the 2-cup measuring cup. That's what gives! I immediately dipped a cup of the mashed banana into a one-cup Ball jelly jar and popped it into the freezer. So, now I had about 2.5 cups. I plopped the largest spoon of banana EVER  into my mouth.

Next, I broke three jumbo eggs into the mixing bowl and dumped in the 2+ cups of mashed bananas and beat it well. Then, I dumped in the cake mix and beat until wet. After this, I put in about 5 ounces of shredded carrots, organic. I figured this would not beat well, but it did.

Instead of a cake pan, I used a pie pan lined with the Parchment paper and foil lining. Actually, cupcakes were the idea, but the cupcake pans were not visible in the front of the cabinet. So, I made do because I did not want to make my back hurt with the search. I even had the cupcake papers out and opened.

The cake mix was supposed to have 1 cup of water and 1/2 cup of oil. I deliberately left out the oil because I was putting in bananas and did not remember water. After all, who puts water in a cake mix? I intended to put Greek yogurt in it and forgot.

Since I forgot to time it, I had to just watch it and estimate. It turned out well--done in the middle and not burned. I did not ice it.

It tastes great hot with a dab of butter!  The carrots are not really soft, not crunchy. If someone who will eat this who doesn't like bananas, don't worry, it really does not taste like bananas. It's just delicious. After it reached room temperature, the carrots were bits of sweetness, not tasting like carrots.

Exbf hates bananas, so I will see if he can eat this cake. I will let him eat one bite before I tell him. His is not an allergy problem, just a texture problem.

I saved four bananas, have frozen bananas to use later, used up half the carrots, used cake with Sept use-by date. The eggs were getting old, so it was time to use up that dozen store-bought eggs.

The cake mix might have spoiled in several ways: 1)bugs could have hatched in the flour; 2)oils in the mix could have gone rancid; 3)the leavening agents could have gotten too old and the cake might not have risen properly  My kitchen is very hot in the summer, not a place where things will last forever on the shelf. I did not want to put the cake mix into a freezer bag and store in freezer to solve these problems.

This felt like a win in many ways. And, I get cake. I have plans for the rest of the carrots.

Your turn
Do you use add-ins when not called for? Do you ever just start thinking and putting things together?

Monday, June 26, 2017

Cooking With Schmaltz

Schmaltz is chicken fat. You know it as the fat you skim from chicken broth. Maybe you have used lots of chicken fat and skin to render it. I used the skimmed fat from broth.

After I skimmed the fat, I decided to use it to cook. But, what would I cook? Biscuits seemed like the easiest thing--drop biscuits.

I used the correct ratio of flour to fat, but this was the softest biscuit dough I have ever seen. Maybe I should have refrigerated it. Maybe I did. I have forgotten.

The resulting biscuits were okay, just not what I was aiming for. It was probably not the final product anyone wishes for when baking biscuits. I ate them, not unhappy at all with the resulting taste or texture.

While I baked these biscuits months ago, today, I finally read a bit about chicken fat. It appears that this is a popular fat for those who are religious Jews and do not eat pork products. Of course, the cultural Jews use it too, most likely from tradition.

Even though I have only cooked with chicken fat once, I have never wasted it. I put it over Dominique's oats or just over her food.

"Chicken Fat" is a song composed for JFK's youth fitness program in schools. Just a bit of trivia.

Your turn
What do you do with chicken fat? Do you cook with it?

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Not Like Me at All & Eat the Weeds

Thursday night, I turned down a free dinner...not like me at all. I really did not care if I ever ate again or not.

There is something wrong with a rear tire or two, and I did not take it to garage...not like me at all. That was my first impulse, but was not acted upon.

And, I still don't feel like eating...not like me at all. I have lost six pounds that I had gained back lately. 

Lately, I have been looking at the weeds in my yard, thinking--eat the weeds. That is not original. It's the name of a book--Eat the Weeds. It's not that I want to eat weeds, but why not? Today, I visited and revisited what I thought was plantain. After numerous internet checks, I know it is plantain. However, it is along the front yard at the curb where dogs relieve themselves. I'll pass. There are more plantain plants further up in the yard.

The sweet potatoes in the window did set slips which I pulled off and put in water so they will grow roots. There are still slips to be put in water once removed from the sweet potatoes. As I was watering, arranging, puttering with them and thinking, I realized something. Sweet potato tops are edible.

I popped one of the leaves in my mouth and ate it. The leaf was unremarkable, neither sweet nor tangy. I chewed and swallowed and was pleased with myself.  Tomorrow, I will eat dandelions. Plus, I will identify one more weed and eat it Monday. If anything does not agree with me, I want to know which one, so only one new weed each day.

The back yard is off limits for eating weeds since I sprayed it a few weeks ago.

Your turn
Do you eat weeds? Which ones? Did you ever just feel off?

Friday, June 23, 2017

Storing small items in the kitchen

In the late 70s my mother gave me dozens of boxes of cupcake papers. I baked cupcakes, I used the papers for other things, shared them, and still have one box left. Finally, I mailed some to my daughter in the 90s. I may have given some to my son and his wife. The boxes were always getting in the way, falling over and opening by themselves. Finally, I was down to one box. I buy the tiny cupcake papers and those are annoying on the shelf, too. One day, several years ago I used a plastic, Miracle Whip, wide-mouth jar to store the larger papers. Then, I have added the smaller ones since there was plenty of room.

This was when Miracle Whip came in quarts not the 30 oz. containers!!!

The large box of cupcake papers fits in there along with little cellophane packages of the smaller ones. I rip off the cardboard top on the tiny ones used to fit on a peg in the store. Implementing  the plastic jar increases my useable storage space. Plus, I don't have to worry something is getting squashed and the shape ruined.

Toothpicks were another troublesome item. I always have to tape the little boxes together to keep them from distributing toothpicks all over the cabinet and counters. One day several years ago, I decided to corral them. I did! I put the various boxes and little plastic cylinders into an icing container. I rarely use icing, but when I do, I wash them out for storing something.

Since I don't use toothpicks to pick my teeth, I rarely used them and bought more for whatever. One day, little cylinders of toothpicks were on sale. This supply will last me the rest of my life since I only use toothpicks to test a cake or clean in a little crack.

Yes, I feel obligated to explain the excess of things I have.

Both these storage items have worked for the last 20 years. They did not have to be purchased. Both are sturdy enough to protect the contents from being crushed or escaping and romping where they should not. By writing "toothpicks" on the outside of the icing container, no one has to ask me what is inside or look in there if I have asked someone to get an item from that cabinet. In the clear plastic Miracle Whip jar, the contents are obvious.

OMG--I just realized my mother bought things in bulk. So, that is where I got this trait. She bought these for pennies on the dollar, a clearance, I think. She did not buy case lots of items, just bought things reduced to an unimaginably low price.

Your turn
Genius? lol Do you use items you would have thrown away for storage? What have you found to be perfect for storage without a purchase? Do you ever have epiphanies like I did about buying bargains in bulk and sharing? What is your favorite storage hack for small items?

Thursday, June 22, 2017

From a Rainy Day to Tornadoes

Thursday was annoying with continual rain. Finally, I decided to watch Dr. Oz. No, I am not because the weather stations all are looking for tornadoes. Yes, there were tornadoes around Birmingham. If you hear names like Fairfield on the news, that is one of the many cities that are butting Birmingham. This all happened 50 miles south of me.

This was just a tropical depression or something, never a hurricane, but it spawned tornadoes with 120 mph winds. I don't think Cindy came ashore that strong. Flooding happened in the same neighborhoods where it always floods. The annoying rain was not annoying anymore! Tomorrow, the weather will be the same but worse.

It was expected that Gulf Shores would get whipped around. Us, too. But, these tornadoes, while not unusual, were not what I expected here.

As soon as it quits raining, the yellow kitty will be trapped and turned in the be fixed at the animal shelter.

Update: Exbf said the tornadoes hit within three miles of him. He, also, is in metro Birmingham. He was only aware of sirens going off, but saw no bad weather.

It's time for The Gong Show. Remember that? This one cannot be as good as the one from the 1970s.

Has anyone gotten bad weather from Hurricane Cindy? Do you remember The Gong Show?

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Grocery List

Last week, I did not open the sale paper. I bought milk and bananas, I think.

I have had a few problems that slowed me down last week and the first of this week. But, the grocery sale papers came today, and I have already made my list. Prego spaghetti was $1.29. I got two. Kraft salad dressing was $1.25--got one. There are fruits and vegetables on sale, but I need to eat what I have.

Except for PictSweet vegetables. The bags that were $1.89 are now $1. Those frozen vegetables are the focus of this week's shopping dollars. Except for the fact I will get tomatoes from the Farmer's Market.

Something is shoved back in the refrigerator, so I must get it before it is moldy. I am determined to keep my clean refrigerator clean.  No lost food means no wasted food. Too much untended food leads to waste!

Just now, I told exbf not to come on Thursday. It will be rainy and maybe stormy down his way. Plus, rain would cause the drive to be hazardous. It will rain here all day tomorrow. He would get soaked getting into the house since he is so slow. Now, I am glad I did not buy red grapes for him at $0.89/lb. They are not my favorite. However, I do freeze them for him if he is not coming in time to eat them in their prime.

We were going to see Wonder Woman. Hopefully, it will still be here next week. I like the old, Lynda Carter, red outfit better than this new one.

I finally quit itching. I think that I had hives, but the did not appear to be hives as I normally have them. My whole fingers were swollen.

Your  turn,
Who is feeling the effects of Cindy? Rain? Worse? Have you ever tried PictSweet frozen vegetables?

Tuesday Free Lunch and Sugar in Catsup

Tueday's lunch was meat loaf, mashed potatoes, green beans, bread, and chocolate chip cookies. Of course, I drink unsweetened tea. Usually, I eat more cookies than I should. Today, I ate two. Yay me!

One kid, ten years old, was all over the place. He would not listen to his mother and on his feet continually. His mother is very ineffectual. I have been at other dinners and lunches where she acts as childish as he does. Three years ago, they were fighting over a glass of tea, a tug of war of sorts. So, this is ongoing, not a one-time event. I suppose they will be around for two more dinners...sigh.

Since I only slept two hours Monday night, I had a six-hour nap. Now, at almost midnight, I am tired, so hopefully I will sleep well Tuesday tonight.

A chicken is thawing in the refrigerator, ready for the crockpot tomorrow. I need a chicken sandwich! Tomorrow, I hope to get the Vidalia onions in the dehydrator. There is one bell pepper to dehydrate, too. Plus, ground beef is thawing so I can make meat loaf for exbf to take home. It is horrible to make a meatloaf and not be able to eat any of it....sigh.  Yes, cooking is on the schedule for tomorrow, maybe too much!

Every meatloaf I have ever made had catsup in it, maybe up to a cupful and then catsup on top. Sometimes, the extra catsup is the result of having added too much oats. The meatloaf is dry and stiff, so I add more catsup--not a smart move.

After considering how much sugar is in catsup, I made his last meatloaf with tomato sauce. I tasted one bite and it was fine. I told him about the lack of catsup so he could be aware if the taste was too different. He said it was fine. Great, because it is healthier. Beef, egg, tomato sauce, old fashioned oats, onions, bell pepper, salt and pepper is all I use.

It is now Wednesday, time for a new grocery ad. This last week, I did not open the paper with ads or go online. That is how bad I have felt. I wrote this post on Tuesday night and did not post. Sleep took me away. So, now I am back on track to sleep more at night and less during the day. Good!

Your turn
Do you ever put catsup in your meatloaf, or are you one of those people who just put it on top of the meatloaf? Do you ever get your days and nights mixed up? How hard is it to get yourself straight?

Monday, June 19, 2017

Total Eclipse Surprise: Updated with maps

We probably all know a total eclipse will happen on August 21, 2017. The closest place for me to view it is a bit south of Nashville, TN, which 145 miles north of me on I-65. I intend to be there somehow! Here is the complete path.

In the mid 1980's I saw a partial eclipse. I think that was the timeframe. This will be my last chance to see a total eclipse. Come Hell or High Water, I will.

The surprise: exbf is going to take me. He just doesn't know it yet. I am quite sure if I asked him now, he would veto the idea. If he will drive up, I will drive back. Of course, we will go in his car.

When there was a partial eclipse, I made a pinhole camera to watch it. The guy I dated then was such a poop. He had absolutely no interest. He did not even share a smidgen of curiosity or want to listen to me or discuss anything. There are moments that show a person who is not a good match. His lack of any interest was one of those moments.

Who knows how exbf will react? Not me. But, I told him to take off work that day. I only ask him to ask off work to take me to a doctor appointment. When he casually asked me what this was for, I goofed up and smiled and said I would tell him later.

***Okay, I am adding this. I think he just thinks I was being ditzy. I did not realize today that my appointment with my doctor was just a visit. I could have sworn it was for a colonoscopy. We discussed this today, and how one day he is taking off for me is now unnecessary. Maybe he won't ask again about Sept. 21. I know, I will tell him it is my birthday present since Sept. 11 is my birthday. Usually, we go out to eat. ***

My plan: I will carefully decide what to fix to take to eat along the way and while there and on the trip back. He loves popcorn, red grapes, strawberries--all I have in mind so far. I hate red grapes, but if I only get one grape, it will be red. He likes chicken sandwiches, jerky, cheese. I will have to think on this and promise him his favorite things. Cold water and iced Diet Pepsi will be along. There will be more...promise.  At my house will be a divided plate with his dinner so he can just drive up, and I will bring it out to him. We do this sometimes when I have had him driving and out late rather than him hobbling in a waiting for me to heat up his dinner.

It will be so much fun. Well, unless he is a party pooper. He can do that.

Does anyone live south of Nashville and know of a good place right on the highway to watch the eclipse. My thought it to just pull off in a parking lot. There will be light pollution, but I am not trekking off to a mountain. IF the lights are set for a certain time, there will be no light pollution, but if they are light sensitive, the shopping center lights will come on in the middle of the day when it is dark.

I must get glasses to view the eclipse.

Will you be in the path of the total eclipse anywhere in the US? Will you be able to drive to see it? Are you at all excited or interested?

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Yellow kitty and Fleas

The little yellow kitten has decided the items on my back porch make a nice perch from which to view the world. Since it is a little wild, you know it has fleas. I have found two fleas on me and have gotten quite a few other flea bites. It is time to spray the back porch, all the things there and the door mat!

Fleas just love me. When I had a chair with a cushion on the back porch, the cats appropriated it and got fleas on the cushion so that I did not dare sit or even walk near it. I removed the cushion and sprayed the wooden chair with flea spray. About that time, I started trapping cats. Most of the cats that come here now belong to someone.

You may not remember, but a few months ago, I heard plaintive meowing. Finally, I opened the door and a gray and white cat sat there, wanting to come in. I put my foot in her way and declined her entrance. She sat, meowing for a long time. Anytime I was/am in the yard, he follows me, meowing every step. I finally saw that cat at my neighbor's house and we talked about it.

I thought all along it belonged to him. Well, it was hanging out at my house for several months and at his only a few weeks. He put a plate of food out for the gray and white cat they call Tic Tac. The cat goes with me when I feed Dominique and meows the whole way, so I suppose it smells the meat and hopes someday I will feed him, too. NOPE, won't happen. Actually, it meows anytime I am not in the house and walking to mailbox or car.

It seems I have less ground squirrels, so I tolerate the cats instead of chasing them away. I cannot tolerate fleas! The Benadryl cream keeps them from itching so I scratch until I draw blood.

Fleas are selective. I know a doctor who moved into a new house with a newborn baby. The baby was covered with fleas and flea bites. Not one of the other three children, he or his wife ever had a bite. They evacuated the house to have it treated.

That is my chore right now--spray for fleas. RAID Flea--Carpet and Room kills the eggs, too. If the eggs are not killed, there will shortly be a new infestation. No. I will not use bombs.

I had finished this post when I went out to feed Dominique. I heard rustling in the tree I pass near her pen. It was too late for squirrels and too early for raccoons. Dodging the rustling in the tree, I was surprised to see the little yellow kitty climbing down the tree and dropping from about 8 feet to the ground. She ran like the wind to hide in a weedy place. My heart rate did accelerate. I suppose she lives here. I wonder if she was trying to access the pen's cage from the top.

Your turn
Do fleas love you or a certain member of your family? Do stray or feral cats ever bring fleas to your porch? Have you ever had a cat adopt you?

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Kitty and Still Groggy and Pickle Making

As I opened the back door, there was a great commotion on the back porch and a streak of something, just motion. It was difficult to ascertain size or color, just a blur. So, I put my hand on bookcase on the porch and moved it a bit, just enough to get a reaction. A little yellow kitten ran off the porch and under the house.

This week, I can inquire if anyone has a cat with kittens. Most likely, this one is feral or stray. If so, it is destined to go to the animal shelter. Once before, the neighborhood was filled with cats that annoyed everyone! I managed to trap eight cats, one with kittens. My neighbor with five cats has all his altered, so I wonder.

Something got into the trash can I keep next to/outside the chicken pen. Now, I may have found the culprit or at least the baby of the culprit. Trash was all over the yard! The kitten could have gotten through the chain link fence. Maybe this is why I have not gotten an egg in two weeks!

I took a Benadryl at about 2 am and here and 3:30 pm, I am still groggy. For some reason, I have had swollen knots on my hands and fingers. Then, the veins on the back of one hand stood out so that I wondered what was happening. After two days of the knots and itching in other places on hands, I gave up and took the Benadryl.

Consequently, when the alarm went off at eight, I decided I needed sleep more than to go anywhere. At 11 am, I got in the car and drove to the food giveaway that is not income based, no means test.

It's not like I don't know the Benadryl makes me groggy for 24 hours! In my defense, I was desperate. So, today, I got the same thing in a cream. Within seconds of applying, the itching stopped and the little knots went away. The cause of this is has me bumfuzzled. I thought it was contact dermatitis, but have changed my mind about that theory.

In spite of being in this perpetual fog, I do have things to do. The main thing is slicing the glut of cucumbers given to me, adding to jar with apple cider vinegar, salt, pepper, and garlic. I will never touch them, but will give exbf these when he is here. I promised J a jar of them as cucumber is her favorite vegetable. I was looking at the packets to make pickles when I was at WM. Do those packets sold with the canning jars work? I even have pickling vinegar. It's foggy vinegar, so I suppose it is still okay. Anyone know? Anyone ever used pickling vinegar?

It's too hot to do so, but I need to remove odds and ends from the car so it does not get trashy again.

Your turn
Does Benadryl make you overly groggy? Have you made pickles with the packets sold near the canning jars?

Friday, June 16, 2017

Downward Dog and Free Produce Program

Downward Dog is a hilarious new, summer tv sitcom. The dog has lots of theories on life. Some of them are so wrong and funny. His mouth moves for some of his talking unless he is musing as he eats through all the garbage cans in town. (last episode) Try it once. Tuesday night at 7 or 8 pm, not sure. I have been meaning to mention this for a few weeks.

I am writing this on Thursday night because exbf is coming Friday, and I am still exhausted and in pain from the first three weekdays. There is another show that I have been following, but cannot think of it now.

Thursday, I went to market and bought a basket of six peaches for $6. The first peach was so hard I could barely bite it and bitter to boot! I had a second one because I was so disappointed in the first. Thankfully, it was ripe and juicy. Otherwise, I might have gone right back with the remainder.

In this state and others, I think, there is a program that seniors with low incomes can receive a booklet of coupons to use at selected farmer's markets, even roadside produce stands. I received $30 worth of receipts in $6 denominations. One person gave me hers as she cannot get there. She is too far away for me to pick up and take back home. So, I have spent two coupons thus far. I intend to use one coupon each week. That makes ten weeks of shopping for free.

The low income is about $1,600 each month, or something near that. So, a person does not have to be in abject poverty. Of course, the amount goes up for a couple or for multiple people in family.

The dishwasher is half loaded. The washing machine has wet clothes that need to go into the dryer. The basket of clothes needs folding. The commode is dirty. So, I have things to do this Thursday night as I can stand up. I lie down lots and work a little.

Your turn
Have you seen Downward Dog? Is there anything else new on TV? Do peaches ripen after picking?

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Yardsale Find

The yard sale was one block from my house. Plus, all the items were close to the road in a small front yard. I was going to pass it by, but I saw something I wanted--a pet carrier. I parked and walked all over before going to the yellow plastic carrier. Actually, I walked for a The price was $5.

I asked the woman to pick it up from the ground for me. She did. When I inquired as to what she would take for the carrier, she thought and said--$4. It was just too hot to play games, so I dug out two bills and a handful of change. She put the carrier in the trunk for me.

Walking to look at other items first was so she would not know the true thing that interested me. If I had walked straight from the car to the pet carrier, I am not so sure she would sell it for less than the $5 sticker. Strategy, folks, strategy.

The thing I used for three grown hens would be comfortable for my one hen. This one is smaller and not tall enough for Dominique to stand. However, this is just in case I need to carry her anywhere. Just the week before I had decided to renew my search for a pet carrier.

It is a very bright yellow and I think it is old. The only problem would be brittle hinges or latch.  If I come across one a little taller, I will get it and sell this one. This one would be very good to hold young chicks. However, I would never bring home day-old chicks since the small ventilation holes would be too much air for chicks that came from under a heat lamp even if I hurried home.

When going to yard sales, I never carry big bills. However, this was truly all I had to my name! There were so few people there, shopping, that I did not fear someone would snatch up the yellow carrier.

Your turn
Do you use strategies when going to yard sales? Or, do you jump out of the car and grab what you want immediately?

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Not Much Here

I slept two hours last night, and then just lay here. Since I was going to the doctor and had to wash my hair, I could not rest well last night. I know that sounds silly to some.

Finally, I sat up and cut coupons. There are some really good ones in this paper. Four sets of coupons yielded about $50 for things I absolutely use each week or month. That was 12 inserts and I only paid for one paper. I have another paper but have not cut those yet. So, I suppose that would be about $60 from the June 4 paper that was less than $2.

Being up so early had one advantage today as I got to see much of the coverage of the shooting aftermath in Virginia. It made me cry. The world has gone mad.

My doctor's appointment was at 11 am. At 11:30, I was on the way out the door. That does not happen often or ever. And, the office was less than ten minutes from my door.

It is almost 5 pm, and I am going to put this away and just let sleep take me away.

Your turn
What is on your mind?

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Adult VBS

At one of the free church lunches, we had adult VBS, just a one-day deal. We made a craft--nails stuck into a piece of Styrofoam in the shape of a star with tiny rubber bands of all colors over the nail heads.

First, there were three young women leading the singing. These were all new VBS songs. I hope the kids got to sing things like "This Little Light of Mine."

Half of us did the craft while the other half had a lesson and game. I had a circle of paper like a halo on my head and tried to guess the clues given to me by my team. If the team had spoken up, maybe I could have heard them. Only two people really gave clues, so our team got 5 and the other team got 6 points. Okay, but I could have spelled all the names of books of the Bible!

Lunch was great: hot dogs, slaw, baked beans, chips. The table for condiments had everything that was ever put on a hot dog! The theme to this VBS was something about space, so the food was appropriately named, like stellar slaw. I can think of none of the other names of the mundane food that all had special names.

We eat from glass plates and have regular cutlery! No plastic. This church goes all out to make visitors and members feel welcome and valued. Their kitchen is  not the ordinary church kitchen! Their is a soda fountain!  We did have little Styrofoam bowls for the beans and slaw. That was welcome since I did not have to fish my bun out of liquid.

The dessert was premade and fresh from the freezer. There must have been a cup of ice cream in a bowl. The ice cream was not the cheapest thing from WM. It had vanilla beans in it. Then, there was chocolate sauce over that. Three roasted marshmallows topped this with a half a Moon Pie stuck in at an angle. A rocket ship on a straw topped the dessert with a space name.

I reconnected to a woman who was once a colleague of mine. We were in different offices of the same business, but in different capacities. I complimented her on her outfit and she said it was yard sale and thrift store. Isn't it great to meet well-dressed professionals who are frugal and confidant to admit the frugal sources?

Next month, the theme is patriotism with an emphasis on members of the military. A year round national guard is located in this town, so they will be presenting a program.

Then, I had to go to the doctor. His office called me in to discuss my head injury and ongoing problems with that and pain in wide, hard part of my nose. UGH! Not fun because I was just exhausted after food and fun.

Then, I got more $0.99/lb. grapes because this is the last day of the ad. There were other things I needed but had no money for those things. However, since I have not used any of the cabbage, I really should tend to that and eat stuff I have already.

From the lunch I brought lots of slaw and baked beans to Dominique with shredded Brussels sprouts and oats on top. The leftovers will last at least four more days. Tomorrow, she will get her oats in tuna juice along with the leftovers. Oh, bananas and apple core are on her menu tomorrow.

The next two Tuesdays are free lunch occasions, too.

Your turn
This is my first knowledge of adult VBS. Have you ever heard of this? It seems to be a trend. Are your church kitchens so well-appointed?

Monday, June 12, 2017

MRI and freebies

I just returned from an MRI, a repeat of the one I had last week. I have to have an open MRI. The doctor did not want me to go to the one here, so I have to make a road trip to get it done.

In the waiting room there was a woman with a baby. She must have been the grandmother. She kept saying sharply to the eight-month-old boy to "settle down!" "Now!" She kept stuffing a bottle in his mouth and trying to cover him up with a fleece blanket. All the time, he fought the bottle and blanket, she was bouncing him up and down.

He wanted to smile at me, but I did not want to encourage him not to sleep. The only thing I said to her was, "How old is he?" She snapped out the answer. Then, she smacked his bottom half a dozen times. Two teens came in and she got up and stomped around. Then, she said, "Let me get out of here before I explode! I will just sit in the truck in the heat!" As she left she was mumbling something about how "she was the rudest person ever." Since I was the only person there, I was puzzled. I barely looked up from my magazine, but since she was in a chair facing me in a very small waiting room, I could not help but see her actions and hear her impatient voice.

Maybe my resting face was a bitch-face. Beats me. I was hurting too much to put on a show of delight for her. Should I have smiled at the magazine? She was acting all angry with the baby as I stood at the window to sign in.

This is not my first MRI, just the windiest. The cold air was not a problem, but I was about to sneeze. That would have disrupted the MRI and made it last longer. It was going to be a big sneeze, so I would probably have hit my head in the machine. I mentioned all this when the MRI was over, and she said she had a fan on me.

They gave me a Coke as I left, saying they were free when I took out money to pay. They have a bowl of snacks, too. So, I left with a Coke, snack, and $10 Walmart card. Sweeeet!

Last Monday, J and I were leaving WM and saw a sign under a tent that said, Free Drinks. You know we stopped by. This was still in the WM parking lot. I drove up to the tent and asked for a free drink for us. The woman said sure but would I do them a favor.  We filled out a form for a credit check to get a credit card for Kay Jewelers. I figured I would not get it and so did J. My credit card for Kay Jewelers arrived today. I probably have a $10 credit limit. Okay, on a hot day, I received a can of Mt. Dew on a very hot day.  I drink few Mt. Dews, but I have never had one in a can. And, I will not be charging jewelry!

Something must be getting Dominique's egg.  I haven't gotten one in a week. She has made a nest in  box on the ground, so I am not sure if she lays in there and a snake gets it before I can. It was only yesterday that it dawned on me to check the box on the ground. That happened a couple of years ago. I just went out four or five times a day and made sure I never left an egg overnight. I saw the huge snake, but I think it left after there were no eggs for it to eat. I am out of her eggs, so I need to get on top of this.

Your turn
If you have gotten an MRI, do you get closed or open MRI? Do you get money and food for doing so? Did you have a fan turned on you, blowing air up your pants? Does anyone have a jewelry store cc?

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Something I have never done before

Weeds are inevitable. So, I just go with it. However, there are two people who let their weeds go rampant, never cutting the grass until the grass/overgrowth is out of control.

Thorns started invading my yard about 30 years ago, all from one untended spot. I pulled them up rather than poison. Bad mistake. After years of going to school nonstop and working many days each week, the thorns were all the way to the front yard. Then, I eventually could not wrangle thorns. When I first starting pulling the thorns, the roots were about the size of a finger and six feet long, growing underground. I struggled and finally came to a surprise--a root about 3 inches in diameter and six inches long. It was horrifying!

Then, I purchased Roundup and used the foam setting to spray only the leaves, no other plants. I was so careful. I made the statement last fall that I had never used poison in my yard. Correction: just the foam setting on the leaves of thorn plants.

Then, my St. Augustine Grass was taken over by all sorts of things, all weeds. This last winter some sort of grass similar to St. Augustine Grass grew very green all winter. Now, it is dead and the St. Augustine grass is back. However, weeds that are too tall and invasive can come back in two days. I took action.

I used Image with Atrazine in one small spot of the backyard and ON the St. Augustine grass that had been cut last week. NOW, the tall weeds are back. I am not sure I did anything but put poison down! Image kills everything but St. Augustine grass.

The other thing I did was to buy brush killer, cut the wisteria as it comes from the wall where it grows and only spray the ends. Soon, I will be able to post pictures of the vines. J was shocked at how they grow and cause trip hazards that are the size of a finger, not just the little tendrils that tripped me.

When I went to the free lunch at the one church that has programs, the county agent was there just for a question and answer session. He suggested to me the treating of the cut end of the wisteria. So, I did. I was not willing to spray the yards and yards of fence it was enveloping. This way, less poison is sprayed. If done right, the spray foam only touches the plant cuts.

I am not looking for a picture perfect lawn, just a safe one! St. Augustine grass that is not cut often enough is just lush looking. I cut it at the highest setting on the lawn mower and it covers my ankles when I walk in it. Friends comment how deep it is. After all, the purpose of mowing is to make the grass even, not cut it so low the grass is shocked. However, when St. Augustine grass is full of onions and all sorts of weeds that grow a foot overnight, I am unhappy.

J's mission this summer is to eliminate wisteria tendrils growing across my lawn. Well, that is my mission for her. We will see. I found a hickory tree growing in the backyard, so I put the brushkiller on that after I cut it at the dirt line.

Oh, I am eating free corn today. I gave one ear to Dominique as I pulled off the husk and silk. She will peck in the silk as little insects land there.

Your turn
Have you ever used Image with Atrazine and meant to be used on St. Augustine and centipede grass on your lawn without killing the good grasses?  How do you handle thorns?

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Saturday : Free Lunch, Market, My Version of Meal Planning

Okay, so it was just a hotdog and Coke at Customer Appreciation Day where I get my car fixed. And, it was a Pepsi...yuck.  You do know that in the South we say we want a Coke and the person asks what kind we want. We do that.

White or green grapes were $0.99/lb. Of course, I price-matched at Walmart and got a little more than two pounds. On Tuesday I will get more. I eat apples plain. I eat banana/apple/grape with Miracle Whip on it. I grate red delicious apple into my tuna salad. My mother made it that way sometimes.

At the Farmer's Market at the Festhalle,  I bought a cabbage that was 5 lbs. for $2.  Eight squash were $2. Six large potatoes were $2. I will make coleslaw and freeze some to experiment. Cabbage and potatoes will be another meal. Cabbage and yellow squash sounds good. Just plain cabbage and Vidalia onions might finish off the cabbage.

I think I will cook the four sale pork chops and save two for our lunch when exbf comes. He will love the squash and cabbage and onion mixture.

Sluggy, that is how I plan.

Including the Farmer's Market and the $0.50/lb Vidalias and the $2 for the pork chops, cheap grapes and expensive apples and expensive milk, I will have spent about $20 to eat this next week. I paid $2.82 for three perfect Red Delicious apples. I will eat a half apple each day.

The cabbage is called Dutch Baby Flat Cabbage or something like that. It is so flat. I told the farmer to quit sitting on them.

Your turn
Does anyone plan meals as loosely as I plan? Have you seen a 5 pound cabbage? Have you ever seen the flat baby Dutch cabbage?

Friday, June 9, 2017

Store Returns/Cautionary Tale

You remember I price-match at Walmart, getting the best prices from lots of stores? On Tuesday I always do a final shop or sometimes my only shop before the ads change on Wednesday. Exbf was here, and took me as we had other things to do that day.

As I finished shopping, I remembered I had no more checks in my check book and a cursory search the night before turned up no check books. So, I called exbf and asked him to drive his credit card to the door at WM. I parked and hobbled out and got the cc.

Since the lines were so long, I went to a checker I had never used before. I kept having to tell her the prices, and the checking event went slowly! Exbf got his cc immediately and his money, $26+, a little later after we went to the bank.

After he left that evening, I was looking over the receipt, congratulating myself on the good deals I got. Then, I noticed I had paid the full price of the Miracle Whip and the price match. When I got to the bottom of the receipt, I was very frustrated!

The customer service person listened and refunded over $11 to his cc! The way it went, I paid more for groceries than I would have even without price-matching.

Even though I am usually aware of what is being rung up and how much I should pay, this day was different. I was eager to get things out of the house done before J came over to do some things for an hour. However, I did check my receipt eventually. I will never go back through her line! I must admit this is the worst problem I have ever had with the wrong price on the receipts.

Being flustered with no checks, exbf waiting in the heat, my needing his help, and needing to get home for J to come over caused me to be less vigilant than I usually am. Usually, I check prices as they are rung or after the transaction and before I leave the store.

Often, I wait for the checker I want, even if she has four or five full carts of groceries. Tuesday's incident just shows me two things: go to a trusted checker and always check receipts!

Always check receipts!

Your turn
Have you ever had so many mistakes made on one receipt? Do you check your receipts after you get home even if you did not check it in the store?