Saturday, July 22, 2017

Five Minute Friday - COLLECT

Five Minute Friday a free write, which means, as our hostess, Kate Motaung, says, " editing, no over-thinking, no worrying about perfect grammar or punctuation. Just write."

This week's prompt is: COLLECT


Over the years I've collected many things...postcards, teapots, teacups and saucers, hearts, rocks, seashells, patches, stickers, buttons...but my favorite thing to collect is memories...and every one of the little things that I've collected over the years takes me back to a specific place and time that leads to wonderful memories that have taken up permanent residence in my heart and mind. The things I collect are always tied to a specific person, place, or event in my life. Here are a few of my favorite collections...

 Teacups and saucers...

Every single one of these pieces (and these are just part of my collection) go back to specific person in my life with whom wonderful memories have been shared...

My grandmother's button jars...

I have added a few buttons to the jars to finish filling them up, but most of them are the originals that Grandma had in them when I was little. I loved looking through these jars as a child; when my grandmother passed away, my aunt let me have them. What a blessed treasure!

And this...

My friend, Bev Cooper, of Wooden Mosaic Treasures put this (and several others) together for me after my dad passed away a little over a year ago. I had a couple of boxes of old jewelry that belonged to my mother, her mother, her grandmother, and her aunt, plus a few pieces that had belonged to my dad. Many of the pieces were broken, some were missing settings, etc., so I sent the whole collection to Bev and she turned the old jewelry into beautiful initialed for us, one for each of our six children and their families, and one for each of my mother's sisters. What a beautiful treasure to remind each of us of the generations that have gone before!

Sweet memories are my favorite thing to collect. What's yours?


Until next time...

Recent posts that you might enjoy - 

Happy Homemaker Monday ~ July 17, 2017

Dollar-S-t-r-e-t-c-h-i-n-g, Cabinet-Clearing, Clean-Up-The-Food Project Update - Week #3

Friday, July 21, 2017

My Thrifty Week - Post #3

Hello! 🙋 And welcome! 

The summer heat continues here in southwest Missouri with daily temps topping out in the upper 90's with high humidity; tomorrow and Sunday it is supposed to hit 100 degrees. 🌞

(Did I mention before that I don't like summer and that I wish fall would hurry up and arrive?)

😄 I know I did, but I'm just reiterating! Come on fall! Hurry up and get here!!! 🍂🍁🍂🍁🍂

Here are my "thrifty" happenings this week...

- A friend gave me a $15.00 Walmart gift card for taking care of her cats while she was out of town. I haven't used the card yet, but, I soon as I remember that I have it when I'm at the store. (I'm terrible at remembering to use things like that on the rare occasions that I have them! 😮)

My husband and I are continuing our Dollar-S-t-r-e-t-c-h-i-n-g, Cabinet-Cleaning, Clean-Up-The-Food Project Plans For July. So far, so good! (You can read more about that by following the links at the end of this post.)

- I only made one trip to town this week and that was to take a friend to her doctor appointment. While we were there I went ahead and picked up fresh items for the week (milk, bread, etc.), as well as a few other items that we were out of (ink for the printer, paper towels, laundry detergent). By only making one trip to town gas money was saved for the second week in a row. 

It's not much, but that's my 'thrifty week' #3!

Until next time...

Related posts:

Dollar-S-t-r-e-t-c-h-i-n-g, Cabinet-Clearing, Clean-Up-The-Food Project Update - Week #3

Here we are at the end of Week #3 of our dollar-s-t-r-e-t-c-h-i-n-g, cabinet-clearing, clean-up-the-food project for July and things are still running smoothly. To be honest, by doing this and not spending a lot for groceries this month, we haven't even missed the shortfall at the beginning of the month. Praise the Lord!


I have noticed that things are beginning to get a little weird with the menu planning this week, but they're probably not as weird as they will be by the end of next week! LOL! 😆 

We are just now starting to notice real changes in what's actually left in the freezer and cabinets and menu planning is becoming increasingly more challenging. I've definitely had to put more thought into things and go to extra trouble to prepare things made of what's left on hand, but it's been well worth it and it is freeing in so many ways!

#1 -  For the first time in my life I feel like I'm actually gaining some control over food instead of allowing it to control me. I feel that I'm in charge of telling it what is going to be done with it instead of it telling me what I have to do with it. Does that make sense to anyone else out there? Does it sound crazy?

#2 - Portion control - Because food items are limited food portions have become smaller. This is good! I don't leave the table feeling stuffed and I am finding that less food per meal is just as satisfying. More so, in fact! And, ultimately, I am cutting calories without even trying to. This is wonderful!

#3 - Once this project is over, I won't have to worry about what's in the cabinets and freezer, because there won't be anything (not much anyway). I will be able to start fresh and plan menus ahead of time. I will be able to shop on-purpose, and specifically, for those pre-planned menus. I have wondered what that must be like. Now I can find out! 😊


Supper meals have been the main focus of my menu planning with this, but breakfast, lunch, and snack ideas have been interesting and fun, too, and fresh items, for which I am very thankful, have played a huge part in rounding things out. 

For instance...

One of the things that had been in the freezer for a while was a package of turkey bacon. It had gotten shifted around and had slipped to the bottom. 

I thawed and cooked the entire package at one time. The first thing that I did with it was make blt's for lunch using the fresh lettuce that I had purchased at Walmart and the last of the fresh tomatoes that I had purchased from a friend who has a vegetable stand. They were delicious!

Next I saved back enough bacon to use for a supper of turkey bacon, eggs, and toast. That was good, too.

Last of all, I took what bacon was left and crumbled it into bacon bits to be used in salads and omelets. 

One pound of turkey bacon can go a long way! 😮


Another thing I did this week was to make up a double batch of protein snack balls. These make great snacks to take to work and can even be enjoyed for breakfast!

I had bought the ingredients to make them quite some time ago, but...for whatever reason (forgot about it, too busy, too tired, too lazy...WHAT EVER!!!)...for whatever reason, I didn't make them before and the ingredients were still in the cabinet...or, at least part of them were. I double checked everything to see what I had on hand and what I could use up in the process of making them. It was AWESOME!!!

I had plenty of honey...three partially used containers of different varieties of honey. Two of the jars (small ones) had been given to us; the other one I had purchased and it was the freshest. I completely used up the two jars that had been given to us and only a tiny bit of the freshest honey, so that was good. It equaled two more containers out of the cabinet!

Next, I had a package of powdered peanut butter, a partially used jar of fresh natural peanut butter, and a full, unopened jar of fresh natural peanut butter. I mixed up the powdered peanut butter and finished off the amount needed with the partial jar of fresh natural and only a small amount of the jar that, up until that point, had been unopened. Two more containers down!

I had new or freshly opened containers of coconut oil, oatmeal, and cocoa, so I used those and had some left of each.

Next, came the seeds. I used up an open package of chia seed and part of a newly-opened package. I did the same with the sunflower seeds. (Two more empty packages out of my cabinet! Yeah!) 

And, last of all, normally I use mini chocolate chips in my protein snack balls, but dh (who "doesn't eat sweets") has a habit of dipping into them a few at a time until the whole package is gone. I didn't have any. 

My second choice of alternate ingredients for this recipe is raisins. We had already used the last of them up in other things during this challenge, so I didn't have any of those, either. 😞 third choice? (Which this is the very first time ever of having to go for a third choice.) Would it be coconut or nuts? I had both and either one would be good, but...which one? I made my choice based on the fact that the nuts were in the freezer and they would be fine in staying there; the coconut, on the other hand, had been in the kitchen cabinet for a while and there was just the amount needed to finish up this recipe, so...coconut it was! (And ANOTHER package out of the cabinet!!!)

When I got done with this recipe, my kitchen trash can was half full of empty packages and a whole bunch of space was freed up in my cabinet. It was awesome!!! 😆

Now...that was probably waaaay more details and information than you wanted to know, and a lot of you probably do this kind of stuff every big deal...but, for me, it is truly exciting (and freeing) to be able to deliberately take this stuff on and make it happen.

I will end there. No use in further taxing you with all of my boring details! LOL! 😆 I'm just having a blast whittling stuff down. It's becoming a game and I'm winning!!! 

Have a blessed weekend and I will see you again next time!

Until then...

Related posts:

Dollar-S-t-r-e-t-c-h-i-n-g, Cabinet-Clearing, Clean-Up-The-Food Project Update - Week #2

Monday, July 17, 2017

Happy Homemaker Monday ~ July 17, 2017

I'm excited to be joining Happy Homemaker Monday for the second week in a row. Forgive me for posting this early. I am writing it late Sunday night as I will be gone all day tomorrow and didn't want to miss out on the fun! Have a blessed week everyone! 

The weather..... still very hot and humid. The forecast promises temperatures in the mid- to upper-90's for the next ten days at least. I'm so looking forward to fall! 🍁🍂🍁🍂

Right now I am....

...enjoying a cup of tea, writing this post, and waiting for my last load of laundry to come out of the dryer. 


...that I should be heading to bed soon.

On my reading pile.... 

I've had no time to read anything extra this week beyond my daily scripture reading, so, the same as last week...

- The Untapped Power in Praise by Kenneth W. Hagin
The People of the River's Mouth by Michael Dickey
- To Know Him by Gloria Copeland

Favorite blog post last week (mine or other)....

- This post by my friend, Laura, at Harvest Lane Cottage. Laura's "Thrifty Week" posts are interesting to read and they challenge me to think of new ways to be thrifty on my own home front. Thanks, Laura! 💜 

A Thrifty Week at Harvest Lane Cottage #107

Something fun to share....

- Don't know if it's fun or not (more like fun-ny) but I made the news this week! 😄

Blog hopping (newly discovered blog)....

- I haven't had time for blog hopping this week, so nothing newly discovered here. 

On the menu for this week....

- Monday - beans, ham, and cornbread

- Tuesday - roasted chicken, fried zucchini with cheese, and fresh tomatoes
- Wednesday - stuffed peppers and fried zucchini with cheese
- Thursday - sauteed zucchini with sauce and meatballs
- Friday - salmon, mashed potatoes, and broccoli
- Saturday - homemade pizza
- Sunday - leftovers

On my to do list....

My weekly "home blessing" 

- Attend Project Wild and Wild About Elk classes at Prairie State Park

In the craft basket....

- Nothing this week. 

Looking forward to this week....

- Having two days off in a row with nothing scheduled. Am hoping to work towards getting the other house finished up so we can get it sold and out of our hair. 

Looking around the house....

- At the moment it looks and feels clean. I stayed up late getting Monday's "home blessing" finished early, because I knew that I'd be gone all day and wouldn't have the time or energy to do it later.

From the camera....

Granddaugher, Mercy, Enjoying A Slice of Watermelon
At the 4th of July Celebration in Nevada, Missouri

Granddaugher, Esther, Enjoying A Slice of Watermelon
At the 4th of July Celebration in Nevada, Missouri
On my prayer list.....

- Miciah - health and healing for a broken arm.

Bible verse, Devotional....

I Peter 2:21-24 - "For ever hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example that ye should follow his steps, Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously: Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sin, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed."

Until next time...


Other recent posts that you might enjoy:

Rebecca's Hearth and Home Newsletter - July 2017

Birthday Parties On A Budget

Dollar-S-t-r-e-t-c-h-i-n-g, Cabinet-Cleaning, Clean-Up-The-Food Project Kick-off

Friday, July 14, 2017

My Thrifty Week - Post #2

Greetings, Dear Ones!

Here in Southwest Missouri summer is in full swing with daily temperatures hovering in the 90's, which leaves me looking forward to the arrival of fall with much anticipation. In fact, I think I would be quite content should autumn decide to come and stick around year-round! 😉

As for this week's 'thrifty week' post, there's not a lot to share, but here goes with what there is...

My husband and I are continuing our Dollar-S-t-r-e-t-c-h-i-n-g, Cabinet-Cleaning, Clean-Up-The-Food Project Plans For July.  (You can read more about that by following the links at the end of this post.)

- I only made one trip to town this week and it was to the town that is closest town to us (18 miles away). Many weeks require multiple trips to town and often to towns 40+ miles away (one way). This means that gas money was saved this week. 

- My friend, Dorothy, came to stay a few days this week. Normally, when company is in, we feel compelled to entertain them by going out and doing stuff. This usually results in meals being eaten out, too, and that can add up to big bucks in a short time. Dorothy and I have known each other for 46 years. We are content to just sit and visit and do everyday life unnecessary running around and no meals out. We ran a few errands that first day, then spent the rest of our time hanging out at the house, visiting, catching up, reminiscing about old times, and eating whatever food happened to be on hand. We had a great time and were content to just be together. What a blessing!

- Someone shared sweet corn with our daughter and her family this week and she shared enough with us to make a couple of meals. It was delicious!

- I purchased fresh vegetables this week from a friend who sells them from her farm. I got several nice zucchini for 50 cents a piece and tomatoes, peppers, and potatoes at bargain prices compared to the grocery store, plus they're so fresh and nutritious! 

Well...that's it for this time!

Until next time...

Related posts:

My Thrifty Week - Post #1

Dollar-S-t-r-e-t-c-h-i-n-g, Cabinet-Cleaning, Clean-Up-The-Food Project Update - Week #1

Dollar S-t-r-e-t-c-h-i-n-g, Cabinet-Cleaning, Clean-Up-The-Food Project Kick-Off

Dollar-S-t-r-e-t-c-h-i-n-g, Cabinet-Clearing, Clean-Up-The-Food Project Update - Week #2

Week #2 of our clean up the food project is nearly over and so far, so good!

For the most part, we have managed to stay on track with menu plans and, slowly, but surely, the older foods that we have determined to clear out are disappearing.

I did pick up a few fresh items this week (butter, eggs, yogurt, coconut milk, cashew milk, garlic, romaine, and cabbage), plus purchased fresh potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, and zucchini from a friend who raises vegetables to sell at an area farmer's market. These items will continue to round out the meats, grains, cereals, and canned goods that we have on hand. 

In addition to that, a friend passed on cereal, cheese, juice, canned goods, and a few other items that she couldn't use, to us and, in turn, we are passing most of those items on to other families that can use them, because we can't eat all of it either. 

One thing I know is this...we have an abundance of food in this house and, no matter what we do, food just keeps coming in. I'm not complaining; I'm just saying. 

I do praise God for His abundant provision, but I need His wisdom and direction in dealing with food on a daily basis, because food and proper eating is something that I have struggled with my entire life. I am finally starting to figure out why it's such a struggle (it's all fear based), but I'm still not quite sure what to do about it or how to do things differently and stick with it on a consistent basis. Please pray for me in this area. 

Anyway...that is my update for Week #2. I keep thinking that at some point this challenge is going to become challenging, but, thus far, things are still running quite smoothly.

Of course, we're only half way through the month. We'll see what the next two weeks hold. We might have to carry this thing over into August! 😲

That's it for now!

Until next time...

Related posts:

Dollar-S-t-r-e-t-c-h-i-n-g, Cabinet-Clearing, Clean-Up-The-Food Project Update - Week #2

Dollar-S-t-r-e-t-c-h-i-n-g, Cabinet-Clearing, Clean-Up-The-Food Project Update - Week #1

Dollar-S-t-r-e-t-c-h-i-n-g, Cabinet-Clearing, Clean-Up-The-Food Project Kick-off

Dollar-S-t-r-e-t-c-h-i-n-g, Cabinet-Clearing, Clean-Up-The-Food Project Plans For July

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Consider The Ant - Part 2

For those that are interested in a follow-up to Consider The Ant posted on July 2, 2017, here it is. To read Consider The Ant - Part 1 click here.

"Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways,and be wise: 
Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, Provideth her meat in 
the summer, and gatherereth her food in the harvest" 
(Proverbs 6:6-8).

I had e-mailed the company that I ordered the ants from on that Friday night (June 23rd) when they hadn't arrived after being mailed on Monday (June 19th). The company responded to my e-mail on Wednesday, July 5th. They said that they were sorry that the ants had been lost and that, if I still hadn't received them, they'd be happy to send me a replacement vile. 

I emailed them back and told them that the ants had arrived and in what condition. I also sent them the link to my blog post about the ants. 😉

They seemed delighted with the link and said that they were anxious to read the post. They also said that they were sending me a replacement vile of ants to make up for all that had happened to the first batch. 

I had to think about that for a bit. Did I really want to go through all this again? I mean...the whole reason I did it in the first place was for a program at work and that program was over and done with a long time ago. would be interesting to enjoy the full experience of a working ant, I told them that I would accept the ants. I just hoped that the second batch of ants would arrive faster and in better condition the first batch did! 

(By the way...we ended up referring to the first colony of ants as the "Roanoke Colony"...somehow it seemed fitting.)

By this time (July 5th) I was down to two ants and one of them wasn't doing very well at all. It had died by the next morning.

On Thursday, July 6th, careful to consider, and handle with care, the last remaining ant, I took the farm apart, cleaned it, and put it back together with fresh sand. By the next day (Friday, July 7th), sadly, the last ant had succumbed to the same fate as all her little companions. I nearly cried. 

On Monday, July 10th, the new vial of ants arrived and they were healthy and active! As soon as they got here I transferred them into their new habitat. One escaped and when I picked it up to put it back into the farm it promptly bit me. In fact, as I type this my finger is still hurting, burning, and swollen. Yowie! BUT...I'm so thankful that they are alive and well that I shall happily endure it! 😄

Fast forward to early morning on Tuesday, July 11th...

Less than 24 hours after arriving, here's where we are...


We are now the proud owners of a thriving, working ant farm that we can enjoy for weeks to come. During that time it is my goal to observe and to continue to log lessons learned as we, with joy, "consider the ant" and, hopefully, be wiser for doing so. 

Until next time...

Related post:

Consider The Ant

Other recent posts that you might enjoy...

Monday, July 10, 2017

Happy Homemaker Monday ~ July 10, 2017

This is my very first Happy Homemaker Monday post ever! My friend, Laura, over at Harvest Lane Cottage introduced me to them and I'm so excited to be sharing one with all of you this morning. goes...

The weather....., sunny, and humid! I am definitely looking forward to fall! 😎

Right now I am....

...waiting on the tea water so I can make my morning cuppa. I don't do coffee at all, so it's hot tea year round for me. ☕


...about a dream I had last night. In it, three young people came running out of the woods where my husband and I were camping. We conversed a bit and the conversation was frantic. They were in great fear and believing something that was totally untrue (I don't remember what it was now, but it was totally ludicrous) and they believed it because "they" had taught it to them. So, in their minds it had to be true! My message to them was, "Just because "they" say it, doesn't make it so. Get out of the herd mentality and search out the Truth for yourself!" I'm thinking that there's a message in that for all of us. 

On my reading pile....

The Untapped Power in Praise by Kenneth W. Hagin

The People of the River's Mouth by Michael Dickey

To Know Him by Gloria Copeland

Favorite blog post last week (mine or other)....

- 10 Refreshing Infused Water Recipes (With Fruit and Herbs) from Wellness Mama 

My first attempt (just plain watermelon). If this works and I like it, I am thinking
that it's time to stop the diet soda completely and do this instead. Yum!

Something fun to share....

- This is a picture of one of the bison at work. It was taken through the big plate-glass window on the east side of the nature center. One of my friends pointed out that this definitely looks like a bison selfie! LOL! 😃

Blog hopping (newly discovered blog)....

Sincerely, Paula - Features a "No Rules Weekend Blog Party"

On the menu for this week....

We're in the middle of our Dollar-S-t-r-e-t-c-h-i-n-g, Cabinet-Cleaning, Clean-Up-The-Food Project Plans For July, so this might get a little weird toward the end of the month, but, here are my ideas based on what we have in the house at this point...

- Monday - bean and cheese tacos, fresh pineapple
- Tuesday - stuffed peppers, corn, fresh pineapple
- Wednesday - pasta, sauce, meatballs, bread
- Thursday - roast chicken, boxed stuffing with mushroom sauce, and green beans roasted with olive oil
- Friday - grilled salmon, mashed potatoes, and broccoli
- Saturday - ham and beans (freezer), cornbread
- Sunday - leftovers

On my to do list....

- My weekly "home blessing"
- Take my granddaughter, Audrey, out for her birthday lunch 🎈

In the craft basket....

- I'm experimenting with pinhole camera ideas for my upcoming solar eclipse program at work this weekend.

Looking forward to this week....

- My friend, Dorothy, is coming for a visit. We met in 5th grade and have been friends for over 45 years. It will be good to catch up with one another before she moves away.

Looking around the house....

- Have been in this house for nine months now and have yet to do the kitchen, bathroom, and hallway floors. We need to figure out what we're doing and get it done. 

From the camera....

- Discovered this handsome, little pollinator atop a stem of blazing star while leading Saturday's guided bison hike.

On my prayer list.....

- My friend, Laura, who has been diagnosed with breast cancer. Her prayer is that the cancer would die within her body and that her heart, brain, organs, and healthy cells would be protected. She declares that she will live and not die and will declare the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living (Psalm 118:17). I stand in agreement with Laura concerning this prayer and declaration and declare myself for it to be so in the name of Jesus!

Bible verse, Devotional....

"Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven" (Matthew 18:19).

Until next time...

Other recent posts that you might enjoy:

Rebecca's Hearth and Home Newsletter - July 2017

Birthday Parties On A Budget

Dollar-S-t-r-e-t-c-h-i-n-g, Cabinet-Cleaning, Clean-Up-The-Food Project Kick-off