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Give Us This Day, Our Daily Bread...

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Give us this day.... a total surprise.

I am just giving a Praise Report.   God sure does work in miraculous ways.   I was sure yesterday that there were no sales at WalMart or Target for school supplies and even if there were sales, I knew I couldn't afford to buy the things we needed to get the kids ready for school. Even if there were happening.......l I didn't have the money. I had avoided the dreaded ADS!   Yesterday my son and I found an IPOD Touch. Calls to Subway (where we found it -- outside the shop in the road) No luck. Then today taking it into IPOD Store in the mall and they were able to find the owner! He had registered the IPOD. They took our name and number and the IPOD and said they would be contacting the owners of the IPOD. (My son tells me they are worth several hundred dollars for a 16gb IPOD touch) Ricky wasn't really very happy about doing the right thing, but I felt at peace with the decision, and hoped that my son would learn that doing the right things, for the right reasons is it's own reward.   MEAN WHILE.   BEFORE we went to the mall, we went to Chick Fil A and dressed like cows for their free combo meal. Yummy. Fun.   The table we sat at was right next to the spinning wheel where they were giving away prizes. I started talking to the lady who was doing the spinning wheel about how I loved the resturaunt, and it was a rare treat to be able to come there. We got in a conversation about how we both loved that the company is closed Sundays. She was giving things away left and right (whith the spin of a wheel) but every so often someone would have been 'happier' with a stuffed cow or an ice cream... and she gave them that! She was really a sweet person. Anyway she asked if I came in often and I told her no, that I was disabled, and after the bills were paid, the money was gone for the month, that going out was a rare things, and that eatting at ChickFilA was a rare treat for the kids and I (and I told her I brought two 'friends' kids with us). Anyway, she pulled a wad of cash out of her pocket and said "Here. I want you to have this".   After a little debating with her, I found out that she was the OWNER of this particular Chick fil A. and she said she wanted to tell me a story. She said that several years ago, she had been able to help someone who was out of work, and she paid for a car repair he desperately needed. She said, "About a half an hour ago, he came in and handed me some money to 'repay' the car repair" She said she hadn't counted it, but thought that since it was unexpected cash that the reason she got it was to put it to work again!   I took the money. I didn't count it. There was a 20 on top so when we left there, I headed straight to my Mom's to pay HER back the $20 she loaned me the day before for gas. She didn't want to take it. I told her the story and she said "I am sure happy you were able to pay this back like this, I can use this next week while your Dad is in the hospital for food and things" I counted the money as I was in my Mom's drive. 200$!!!!   I did some pre-shop planning. School supplies are on sale NOW for the year. I got what I could in school supplies -- folders, notebooks, color pencils, glue sticks, glue, pens, pencils, paper, protractors, compass thingies, erasers, markers, dry erase markers, crayons, sharpies, composition books (woo hoo 50 cents each!!!) etc.   I got Ricky a pair of jeans -- on clearance for 7 dollars -- there were two pairs and NOW I wish I had gotten him both pairs, since he only has two pairs -- three now. I also got him two shirts and a pack of white tshirts. I didn't get him shorts, though he could use those. He is in a 16-- ack! He is just 13 and he is big foot -- he wears a MEN's 8 and a half! If he ever grows into his feet and appetite he will be a HUGE KID.   Tya I bought two shirts. Both on clearance. 3 bucks each! She has outgrown all her 10/12 and is in a 14/16.   Katy is at camp -- but there was NOTHING for her at Walmart or Target -- she is in a size 3 and I refuse to buy "Hooker" clothing for her. Apparently size three is a hard size to find - and that is proving very true for us! So I bought her nothing, and we will try goodwill the beginning of the year. She is easier to buy for in one way -- she is at home and really doesn't need much in the way of 'back to school' wear. Work out clothing and   Gas -- half a tank 25$ (I spent 20 from my Mom and filled it up half way the day before)   I have money left over to buy bread, milk, eggs, and fruits and vegetables to tide us over until I go to the chuch the end of next week or the week after (depending on how good the sales are!).   Today I just feel God handed me a miracle, for planning and then following through on doing the 'right thing' That women didn't know about the IPOD and my plans to find the owner, but GOD KNEW. God also knew that I needed gas, food, clothing for my kids for back to school. That IPOD would have paid for ALL OF THAT. I could have sold it for about 200-250 --   HE PROVIDES. God provides for us when we Choose the Right. When we have faith to trust that everything will work out for the best.   Lately I have stopped worrying about things. Looking back, at times when it was darkest, and I thought there is NO light at the end of the tunnel. Things worked out. God provided for us.   Right now I am recovering from knee surgery and it wasn't easy to drive to the mall and walk that darn thing with a cane, it hurt, but it was the RIGHT thing to do to try to find the owner of the IPOD.   Monday I find out if I have anything wrong with my heart. God has it in HIS hands to take care of me, if there is something wrong.   Two weeks from now I undergo a test to find out if the nodules (2cm anbd 1 cm) on my thyroid are cancerous. It is in HIS hands.   Sometime in the next year (probably in the fall of '10) I will be having knee replacement surgery. Right knee. Sometime the following year they will do the other knee. Fun stuff. NOT.   No matter what I face I know that God will be there in all of it. I have Faith in Him.            

Aint2nuts

Aint2nuts

 

Day to Day, one day at a time

Each day is bringing new challenges.   Today is a stress test for my heart.   Two weeks from now, a thyroid radioactive iodine test.   Tomorrow a tooth filling.   Therapy for the knee -- twice a week. It keeps freezing up and locking in place. Not good when you are walking. Might be on this dang cane for life.   Therapy for the head --once a week.   Asthma keeps me coughing, and the pnuemonia isn't entirely gone.   On the good side, my daughter Katy made Honor roll and was nominated for National Jr Honor Society.   Woo hoo!

Aint2nuts

Aint2nuts

 

Reality check

Today I went to the surgeon who did my knee. I needed information about why my knee is locking up.   He said my knee is seriously damaged, with severe arthritis and that I should be having a knee replacement surgery -- but he doesn't do them. He said with my weight, they probably won't do knee replacement surgery at this time.   So -- reality check. Right now I have three more weeks of therapy and I need to do as much to stregthen my knee as possible -- then he recommends that I start swimming if possible,to lose some of the weight (instead of walking and damaging the knee further)   So -- what that means is that I need to figure out a way to bug out -- that doesn't involve my cruddy knees.        

Aint2nuts

Aint2nuts

 

I have good news and bad news.

The good news is that I am recovering from surgery fairly well. AND recovering from the pnemonia.       The bad news.   When I went into the hospital, they did a cat scan and found a 2 cm nodule on my thyroid. Wednesday I am starting with an ultra sound, and then will be going on to other tests (redioactive iodine anyone?)       The good news: Only about 10% of nodules wind up being cancerous.   The bad news: The bigger they are the more likely they are cancerous.   Then today I went to the orthopedic surgeon, for follow up and to have them explain what is going on in my knee. So...   The good news: I won't need knee surgery for a year or two.   The bad news: Most of the miniscus was removed, and there is severe arthritis I have no cartledge on the end of the bones top and bottom.   The good news: Oh wait.... there is no good news!

Aint2nuts

Aint2nuts

 

Deja'vu - or it is View?

I have lived this day before I think. Last year sometime.   [/color]Visting teaching was canceled. Between my busy schdule and my partners, we just didn't have enough time between us to get it done.   Tomorrow is the DENTIST I have about 3k+ worth of work that needs to be done, tomorrow I will be getting the BAD news about what exactly needs to be done. I know a bridge is needed, possible 3 cavities, and I know I need a root canal done. None of it will be done tomorrow but the xrays -- but that is the work that needed doing about 7 years ago, so I thought I would 'get it done'.   Friday I leave at 3:30 in the morning (doggone it -- I need to call for a ride!) for surgery on my knee. Surgery is at 7 am -- but I have to sign in by 5:am. fun stuff....not. I don't know that I am leaving myself enough time between the operation and the following week....jumping into the summer activities.   I am starting a Summer Kids Reading Club and a Kids Summer Book Club. We will be swimming on Monday and going to the movies on Friday. Everyday Monday through Sunday we have something going on! For the NEXT TWO MONTHS...   My daughter Katy has been recommended for the National Jr Honor Society. She is in a virtual academy and doing great! She 'graduated' from all but one of her classes for 6th grade in February. Her last class she finished a month ago. Vocabulary and GUM -- she didn't have the book for them, so she needed to get the book to finish.   Katy (age 12) has started writing a story that is on page 16 now. She is doing a great job writing it. I really want to KNOW HOW IT ENDS! She says it is a book though and she is just on the first chapter. ACK! She will be 16 before she finishes it.   For the summer Katy is taking a Fitness Camp, as well as a Strength training camp. We are going to be going to the track twice a week to walk/run, as well as swimming every Monday. (All in an effort to get ME back into walking shape!). She is also taking a babysitting class, a CCC class (explained below), and an archery class.   My daughter Tya has a GPA of 3.27 -- really good for a young lady who we will be testing for Dyslexia next school year. She struggles with reading things. We are going to be working on that this summer. This summer we have her enrolling in Steppin Out -- which is a hip hop and cheer leading class. A babysitting class. She is also taking a rock climbing class. She thought about taking a drawing class, but we didn't have enough on the scholarship to do it all and she really wanted to do the ones she choose. She is such a gifted artist though, I thought drawing classes would be a nice thing for her to take.   Ricky scraped by passing all of his classes EXCEPT TECH! Which is weird because he loves being on the computer -- apparently he only loves looking up Utube movies and music though. He just seems to float through life liking nothing but music -- but not putting ANY effort into playing his Sax. Ricky went to the Grand Canyon for a five day hike -- and they came back in two. They got rained out. The first night, last Thursday, it rained all night. The next day their gear was all soaked and heavy and they couldn't carry it down any further than 1/4th the way down into the canyon. So they hid the backpacks and hiked down to the bottom of the canyon, walked a few miles along the river, and then came back and started up the canyon. All on Friday. They got home at 11:30 that night.   For the summer, Ricky decided to take Stepping Out -- which is a summer rec program. He is also taking a race cars class, a CCC class (Continuous chest compressions -- instead of CPR), an archery class with Katy and I, as well as going on various sleepovers and parties that are already scheduled.   I am already ready for summer to be done. I think I am doing more THIS summer than ever before.   One thing I am doing is buying a canner. Just as soon as the money gets here. LOL And JARS!!! I have some coupons for jars and I plan on buying as many jars as possible.        

Aint2nuts

Aint2nuts

 

Preparing for...

I like doing things 'right'. One of the things I am trying to do 'right' is get my affairs in order in case something dire happens when I go under on Friday.   Yesterday, I wrote my will out with the help of a Will Writing program.   Put together a Living Trust: Put together a Power of Attorney.   Today I go to get them notorized.   My house is clean, well ordered and ready for anyone to walk in and find the documents that they need to 'take care of business'. I have put a binder with marriage license, birthcertificates and all the documents that I have.   Most likely, I won't need any of it. It is there if I need it though.   Pantry is, for the most part, moved into my bedroom. I have an inventory of everything I have down to the last bandaid. My medications are ready to go, I pack an overnight bag 'just in case' I have to stay overnight or more. Medications for three days are going into the bed.   Accomplished is how I feel having this all done now.   I have someone to watch the children when I go in. Mom is going with me to wait while I have surgery, and she will accompany me home. A friend is staying the night because I have to have 'a responsible adult' with me the first 24 hours after surgery. Other friends are coming in three hours shifts on Saturday.   My church is really pulling through for me on this. They are helping me with meals, providing child care and generally 'being there' for me.   Preparedness takes the fear out of things.    

Aint2nuts

Aint2nuts

 

Spring Planting- the flowers and herbs

http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v146/Ain...nt=c5f4f977.pbw   A week ago we planted some flowers and herbs in the front yard. Rosemary, mint, catmint, marigolds, beans, bell peppers, honeysuckle, carolina jasmne, sweet broom, sunflowers Itwo different kinds] cosmos, an edible flower I am always forgetting the name of ... nasturtiums. More beans.   I still have a handfull of herb seed packets to plant and lettuces. I am thinking that on the first of this month I will go and buy some that are already started. This fall I will plant the back yard,. I couldn't handle it with my knees acting up. Even with the kids helping.   I need to get them taken care of so that I am able to walk and get more fit.   Angela    

Aint2nuts

Aint2nuts

 

Mama Called The Doctor and The Doctor Said....

Actually the doctor left a message on the phone telling me that yes, the cartladge is torn and that there are "Several other issues" that the Orthpedic doctor will need to discuss with me.   I have been reading and my symtoms match a tear in the tendon, as well the cartledge. My knees (yes both of them) both LOCK UP and Collapse! I have pain no matter what position my knees are in. However, it has been this way for more than 12 years. Prior to my pregnancy with my daughter. I always attributed it to weight and then, when they found the arthritis in both knees -- to the arthritis.   Apparently I should have said something a long time ago to my doctor. I just lived with the pain, and the past few months (since I have been unable to take pain killers) I finally compained to the doctor about the pain -- and also told him about the locking up and collapsing. I guess THAT sent red flags up that hadn't ever occured to me -- I just lived with the pain. Even when I was walking and each step was torture because the tylenol didn't touch the pain, I lived with it.   The only thing I can think of that might have done this injury is playing sand volleyball. I used to play all the time in my 20's and I remember hurting my knees several times. However, I didn't have medical insurance until my 30's so I never went to the doctor. By then I was 'used' to living with the pain.   Anyway I see the surgeon on the 4th of May, and I will find out more then. If surgery is the Rx I am going to try to get it scheduled for the middle to end of July. My kids have summer activities that I want them to be able to do, and I have a GPS and Geocaching class and archery class that I want to be able to do.   I am wondering if the knee surgery will help my back? That always hurts too, but have I said anything to my doctor? No. LOL I just figure that pain is because of a car accident when I was 22, lack of muscles, and big boobs. Perhaps I shouild say something about the constant paint there too. Although, the vicodan is helping that out, it is just an ache right now.       Lights out time.   See you all later.    

Aint2nuts

Aint2nuts

 

Oy Vey!

Why didn't anyone tell me that MRI's are boring, headache inducing, pain making, hellish encounters with modern medicine?   Today I had an MRI on my knee. If the pain in my right knee wasn't bad enough, the left knee after about 5 minutes was soon chiming in, and my back was SCREAMING....MOVE RIGHT NOW... about 10 minutes into the THUMP THUMP THUMP played over and over again for an hour an a half. My entire body radiated the pain of not moving and the pounding noise that urged me to MOVE. After an hour, despite the music in my ears, I had a headache to rival migraines I have had in the past. I was thirsty, exahusted and dizzy. Nauseated and my entire body was twitching, flinching and begging me to move.   I got up from the experience, dizzy, with a headache pounding, and my entire body from head to toe in pain.   So, a normal person would have walked out of there, gotten in the car, gone home and taken some pain medication and perhaps laid down for part of the afternoon. Am I a normal person? Oh no I am NOT. I did take some tylenol with codiene...then...   I got out my seeds, got out my Garden Notebook some sweet person sent me a few months past, and worked on my Front garden. Then I put plan into motion.   On the side yard in the front, on the left there runs a brick wall about 3 feet high. Along that fence, I planted Mamoth Sunflowers! In front of them Cosmos, and in front of them another variety of edible seed producing sunflowers that grow only 3-4 feet high. In front of those I planted some Nastrutiums. In front of those I planted some beans seeds that I would have to go look up the name for -- they have purple foliage, flowers and seed pods. All along the edge I planted chives.   On the other side of the yard, in the area against the house that had I planted in marigiolds, Carolina jasmine, honey suckle, red gardenias, I planted alyssum and baby's breath. I lined the beds with more chives (I love them on baked potatos) and then in the mint bed I sowed catnip, and spearmint -- hopefully it will grow.   Along the right side of the sidewalk I planted two lines of bell peppers and two lines of peas.   IN the front of the house I planted a beautiful rosemary, and radiating from that as the center I will be alternating lettuce varieties and herbs like petals of a flower. Oregano, Parsley, Lemon balm, sage, Thyme. I was going to sow carrots around the entire thing, but I am thinking since it is tilled so lightly and the soil is so hard, that radishes might be the better choice.   Along the drive way I haven't decided what to plant, but I am thinking I will line the yard in basil. I love pesto and the more I can grow and freeze of that the better!   During the time we were planting I washed down the house. Cut back the bouganvillea (it had grown up to the eves of the house and the city wants it kept lower than waist high). I washed the front screen door, front door, light fixture, windows in the front and the front door mat. We moved about a ton of maure off the front pile to thin it in prep for planted (about 10 wheel barrows full) to the side yard. I had weeded the entire area in preperation for the planting, and got a sunburn in the process. At the end of the afternoon, I was exhausted, hurting still, but feeling VERY accomplished and proud of myself.   I have to say that in the beginning (12-2:30) Katy helped me == my 12 year old homeschooled daughter. And after a break of about 45 minutes, my other kids came home and THEY helped me with the rest. Along with their friend who lives across the street.   I planted a Sweet 100 cherry tomato plant, and I have plans on planting some cabbages in the front yard. About 5 I am thinking between the herb and lettuce flower meddalion and the rows of peppers and peas.   I want a RED hibiscus to plant by the front door (it needs mostly shade here) , and by the side of the garage I want a climbing rose. Either a yellow one, or a pink one or a bright RED one. I am leaning towards Yellow.   Under the window of the dining area I want some gardenias. I love the scent of them.   The honeysuckle is going to grow up and around my daughter's window. I planted a Sweet broom bush beside the driveway, and right across the way on the other side of the walkway, the Carolina Jasmine (I love red and yellow plants!).       Anyway by tomorrow my garden should be completely planted in front.   Tomorrow I have a therapy appointment and my homework was to take pictures of my room. I am going to do that. AND I am going to take some 'before' pictures of my garden and I will post them tomorrow.   If it werent for the fact that I have car registration to pay next month, I would be be paying for a rototiller and tilling my backyard. :-( I will have to wait until fall for that.   June I have to buy a canner. Come heck or highwater I have to have one. I have lost too much meat and vegetables not to have one. Fruit I have canned. Jelly I have made -- I have two water bath canners. I am going to buy myself the best canner I can afford -- hopefully an American like I had before and start canning meats and my vegetables that I will have from my garden (and gleening LOL)   Have a good one.    

Aint2nuts

Aint2nuts

 

This and That

Yesterday I met with the Bishop of my church. Church of Jesus Christ and the Latter-Day Saints.. we are the Mormons.   I don't get food stamps. I 'miss' qualifying by a few dollars (they don't take into account any bills but your basic survival bills). Instead I go to the chuch for food.   About once every month and a half, I put in a food order for a month of food. I make it last a month and a half by extending it with MY food storage items. I don't duplicate what I already have.   The church does not rely on food banks to supply them with food. It is provided and paid for by church members with Fast Offerings. Once a month, everyone fasts for two meals, and donates that money they didn't spend on eating to the church. The food is canned by members of the church. No one is paid. The church even has it's own farms.   I make out my menus depending on what is available to me from the church.   This week my meat order looks something like this:   canned meats:   beef chunks 6, beef stew 6 (i skipped the chili, pork and beans, tuna and turkey chunks -- already have all of those but the tuna and we don't eat canned tuna).   Meats, Other   beef roast 1, chicken 4, ham 1. bologna, 3, franks (all beef) 5, ground beef 5, hmbrgr patties 2, sausage 4, stewing beef 2. Between that and beans it is enough to last us a month and a half.   They have cannery foods that have been canned right next door at the cannery or at other canneries across the nation, soups, apple sauce, vegetables, spaghetti sauce and tomato sauce and whole tomatoes. Tomato juice, fruit juce mix, hot cocoa mix, and dry milk. bread, flour tortillas, beans, rice, potatoes, baking products like yeast, flour, corn starch, vegetable oil, vinegar. seasonings like black pepper, chili powder cinnamon and salt and even vanilla. They have fresh dairy products, fresh vegetables, fresh fruits, sugar and flour. In fact I would venture to say it is the basis of a healthier diet than the people in the west had lving off the land.   They do have dessert items, jello and pudding and cake mixes. However, with the ingredients they give, you can make your own cakes from scratch. You can also make bread, cookies, and any kind of baked desserts.   The church has household products too. aluminum foil and plastic wrap, bleach, brooms, cleanser, dish detergent, laundry soap, and even a recipe book for using the things they give you. Personal products are not forgotten, with food stamps you can't buy these items: toliet paper, deoderant, razors, handsoap, sanitary napkins, shaving cream, tampons, toothbrushes, tooth paste, even things for babies like cereal, diapers and formula.   I am glad that my church has this available for me to utilize. I do what I can to survive without it, buying what I can when it is on sale, for instance, ground beef went on sale last week for 88 cents a lb. I bought as much as I could afford.   Making a lot of my meals from scratch helps me afford more. Not buying preprocessed junk food. I have also started my first garden here in Arizona. I planted mint (from seed), rosemary and tomatoes (transplanted) just last week. Today I am planting the rest of my herb garden. Well, I am supervising, my daughter is planting. It is part of her science this week.   Tomorrow I have an eye exam scheduled, and the next day an open MRI for my knee (I tore cartiledge in my knee and it is acting up).   Last week was NOT a good week for me. I became manic, and stayed awake for five days, then basically fell asleep for a few days to make up the sleep time. I think because of all the activity that I had gone through the week before, set it off. Calling my Doctor should have happened and didn't. In retrospect I should have called, but didn't. Hindsight is 20/20.. I am thinking that I need to educate my kids about what to look for and when to call their grandparents or the doctor. Last week was one of those times that the doctor should have been called and medications adjusted.   I have stopped reading most of the forums for now. Taking things personally is what I do best, and when topics get onto welfare, I feel attacked, even when people say things like "Present company excluded" I don't feel excluded, I feel attacked. I know there are welfare cheats. Are we going to throw the baby out with the bathwater though?   Personally I think food stamps should be called 'Survival rations" and you should only be able to buy the basics on them. (Like with WIC) Flour, salt, sugar, rice, cereal, beans, etc... like our church provides. Junk food, candy, etc should be excluded from what you are able to buy. You want a cake? Make it. Provide everyone who gets a survival rations card, with a cook books on how to make simple items, and maybe cooking classes for those who want or need it.   If someone doesn't like it. They can find food another way.

Aint2nuts

Aint2nuts

 

Planning and Using Food Storage -- the basics for me

Today, right after Sacrament, I was asked by our Food Storage person to give a 2-3 minute talk on "How I use my food storage:|"   First, she wanted me to give it in less than an hour...TWICE... and second she was asking someone who gets panic attacks (for real) when people look at her funny. She knows that I buy bulk items from the cannery from her each year when I can, and that I am on a strict budget and rotate food storage   But despite misgivings, I said yes.   Auntie Flo had made a surprise visit during sacrament, so I rushed home during what is essentially the 'Sunday School' portion of church, and got supplies. Jumping on the computer I quickly wrote down the salient points I wanted to cover in my "Using food storage". I made it short and sweet and covered the highlights of what I am about to write for you. It went really well and I enjoyed it. I do love to teach about couponing and food storage.   The main things I wanted to cover is planning. Spur of the moment has it's place in eating, but it wastes food to do it everyday and all month and year long. You can't rotate AS successfully the food you have without planning ahead to a certain extent.   So, the first thing I did when I started rotating my food inventory was to TAKE inventory.   This gives you a basis on which to plan out menus. If you have powdered milk, you need to plan to use that in some way to use it up. Dried eggs? Make sure you plan to use them in baking. Beans? Soups. Whatever...plan. When you do your menu and you find out that you never use pinto beans once and your family HATES them...find another home for that food.   So how do you plan out a YEARS worth of menus? One bite at a time!   First, my kids and I sat down and brainstormed all the meals that we could think of that we as a family likes. (Or that I THOUGHT they liked...big surpises were ahead). I put all the meals on 3x5 cards. For instance a card says: Chicken Pot Pie, Mom's cucumber Salad, Peach brown betty, Milk. Another one says: Sausage, rice with beans, carrots (from dehydrated), salad, oranges. I made about 50 menus for dinner and about the same amounts for breakfast and lunch. It isn't as hard as it sounds -- you KNOW what you like to eat! I didn't naysay ANY of the menu ideas the kids had (that comes later).   So we had the basic cards. Next was that hard thing that is called "Listening to the Truth...it sometimes hurts". LOL The kids and I 'voted' on the menu ideas. Chili was voted down, so was my favorite meal -- STEW! I never knew that not one of my kids liked stew! Bad mama. Found out my older daughter doesn't like spaghetti, but she was outvoted and we have a spaghetti dinner night once a month. We trimmed the total number of cards down to 31 for breakfast, lunch and dinner. We tweeked it until it fit us. Now we had one menu for each day of month. Some of the 'favorite meals' for each of the children that were outvoted were put down on the lunch menu. (Like my stew!) There are four of us. If two people voted for and two against, it was put in the 'lunch pile' there had to be three people voting for a dinner to make it to the menu.   On each of the card the menu ingredients were listed out, as well as basic preperation needs -- like Jello can't be made THAT NIGHT, you have to make it the day before. Meat has to be taken out and put in the fridge two days before. Salad prep is going to take about X number of minutes, meat has to be put in X number of minutes before dinner -- this is for my kids sake. You can pretty much do this automatically, but sometimes reminders help.   Next comes the hard part. It takes some effort, but only has to be done once (snort - unless you have guests move in on you, or your family grows). I went through the cards, and listed all the ingredients THAT ARE STORABLE on each of the cards, and then, multiplied by 12 -- once for every month of the year! So, for the menu : Beef roast, Salad, potatoes, carrots, and Orange drink mix. The list looks like this:       12 Jello, assorted flavors. (pantry) 12 beef roasts (freezer) 12 tablespoons of garlic/herbal seasoning mix (panty, seasoning) 12 T salt (pantry) 6 t pepper (pantry) 12 bottles of salad dressing (assorted flavors) (pantry) 48 servings dyhydrated carrots (#10 can is approximately 41 servings) (Pantry) 72 servings of orange drink mix (from the cannery, 44 servings in each plastic pouch) Other fresh ingredients each month include (and I list those on the card too)  Once I got past that massive amount of time consuming WORK...and let me tell you it is time consuming figuring out portion sizes, guessing or by experience knowing that at least two of your kids are going to have a second cup of juice, finding out how many servings are in a can of peas etc...   Now comes the next part of the fun.   Make a 'Year's Master Ingredient list'. You go through all the cards, breakfast, lunch and dinner, and you add up the number of times you need the CORE INGREDIENTS that are STORAGE for the ENTIRE YEAR. Now two of my kids eat lunch at school. I need to plan for that. Also I have to plan as much as I can for holidays and days off from school, like summer and spring breaks.   Then you make seperate MONTHLY lists of fresh ingredients for when you go through for each month's grocery shopping.   Now comes the more interesting part. Planning ahead.   You now have a list of all the pantry items you will need for an ENTIRE YEAR of meals. It probably will take you the better part of 6-12 hours or MORE to put this all together. It is worth it though. Tailor it to YOUR needs. Tinker with it until you get it right for you! You might want a goal of just 1 month or 3 months> My short term goal is a year. My LONG TERM goal is 7 years.   Now, make a menu for the next month. Use your cards, you plug in the menu items and the date and if you have multiple people responsible for cooking, who is cooking etc. Mine looks like this ( I was going to post a month of menu items but the coding doesn't work. Pfft.). So a DAY of my menu looks like this:   Monday 12/22   BREAKFAST (make it yourself) LUNCH (Mom) DINNER AND CLEAN UP: Ricky   cereal Soup (canned) Roased chicken   Milk crackers Green beans   Fresh fruit koolaide Rice pilaf   peaches Corn muffins   Fruit drink mix   Just on a side note, my kids 11, 12, almost 13, all cook twice a week (with my help and guidance). I cook once, and help them. However they know how to make all the items on the menu. We rotate the items and the KIDS get to look at their calendars and pick the day they're going to cook. If something comes up, THEY are responsible for finding someone to cook for them that day, and if they can't find someone they trade with me...I hate that. LOL! My day to cook is Sunday. The kids look at the calendar and choose what days they want to cook each week. (Wednesdays for now are by default always my daughter Tya's because Ricky has Scouting and Katy has Young Womens on that night.)   My kids and I are responsible to making sure the menu is 'Stuck to'. Sometimes it is hard, because people forget to get their card out and plan ahead. Sometimes we have to switch around menus because meat didn't get taken out. However, it IS flexible, because you have food for the entire MONTH in the house!   When you are only doing a WEEKS plan at a time, you can buy your fresh vegetables and items on sale. Look for the best buys and buy those. If tomatoes are on sale this week, buy what you need for next week as firm as you can so they can ripen for NEXT week.   Couponing and Buying in bulk: I buy a lot with coupons. Sometimes I BUY coupons when there is a good sale. For instance, I had 1$ manufacturers coupons for Garnier Fructis shampoo. It went on sale at the local pharmacy for 1.99. There was a store coupon for 1$ off -- I combined the coupons and got the shampoo free. I regularly save 40-90% off my food budget from couponing alone.   I barter, trade, beg, glean, pick friends and families fruit trees. and I garden (this is new to me here in AZ). Also I purchase things in bulk and when I am able, I use a Tilia Food saver that I bought 10 years ago, to repackage large amounts of food into jars or bags. I water bath can fruits, juices, and jellies and jams. I dehydrate items with my L'quip food dehydrator that a friend helped me to buy! I make bread crumbs and croutons and my own salad dressings. I frequently get things from the food bank (buying it at a low cost to me) and have to use what is given or save, freeze or preserve what has been given to me.   When I can afford one, I will be getting a canner. Then I will be canning meats for the year, vegetables, soups, and sauces. In short, I do EVERYTHING I can to reduce my ultimate outgo and food budget. Hope some of this information can help you do the same.   Hugs.   Angela          

Aint2nuts

Aint2nuts

 

Twilight Party....

Friday night was a blast. Actually the entire day was a blast. It was my older daughter's 12th birthday party celebration. A Twilight Party -- because both she and I am into Twilight and love both the movie and the books. In fact she has read all four books and read them TWICE! I have only read them once. She is a fount of trivia about Twilight and quotes it constantly.   So we planned a party. I wish I had pictures but it was a choice of printing out pictures for the party (decorations, t-shirts) or taking pictures AT the party. I need a new memory card and can't figure out which one to get, so ink it was!   Invitation. I put a checker board across the front of the black paper invitation. We just cut out squares and put them in a checkerboard pattern. Then an apple, a piece of ribbon...and we were done. I pasted the actual printed paper of the invitation inside.   Decorations: I got two HUGE Twilight posters, and a calendar of Twilight. The calendar had all the characters of Twilight in it. Dollar store has streamers. (Black, red and white) We also bought red plates, and black napkins! In January there was a clearance at CVS of a HUGE stocking. It was originally 49.95 or something like that. It wound up being under 5 dollars and I paid for it in CVS bucks. So...free! It has about 60 dollar store type toys -- all different -- in it. From Rubber chickens to Chinese finger traps (5 in the package), to a golf set and a baseball, maze toys, anyway, I still have prizes left over! Balloons RED, BLACK and WHITE 1.19 each package at Walmart. I was going to get the Helium tank, but it was too expensive, so we blew up the balloons, hung some and left most of them covering the floor -- it looked cool!   Now the BEST part of the gift to the party goers were the t-shirts. (Ignoring copyright laws) I made Twilight T-shirts for each of the kids. Some, it didn't matter -- like the one where I took clip art of a lion and a lamb and quoted, "So the lion, fell in love with the lamb". Or the ones that said "TEAM EDWARD since 1918". One has a sparkly thing on it, and says "Team Edward, because Jacob doesn't sparkle" Another says TEAM JACOB, because everyone needs a happy-go-lucky puppy" and has the picture of a wolf on it. Others.... well lets just say if the Tshirt police ever catch up with me, I am in trouble.   I made a T-shirt with Alice on it, Moon in the background on a really cloudy night, and it says "Go ask Alice, She knows everything". Another that has a picture of Alice and says, TEAM ALICE Because seeing things before they happen ROCKS!. Different picture of Alice that says "   Rock, paper, scissors.” Edward: “ Why don’t you just tell me who wins? ”   Alice: “I do. Excellent!”   Alice is a psychic. The best t-shirt (that most of the kids liked) was a picture of all four of the Twilight book covers. The t-shirt said "Twilight, it isn't just a time of day..." The one Katy liked best was a picture of the Cullens that said " Bite Me, PLEASE" (If you get bit, you turn into a vampire). There was one tshirt that had the 'bad guys' pictures on it, and says "The Nomads". Each of the kids got to choose which one of the T-shirts they wanted. The extra's are going to my daughter Katy. The best part of this? Each of the shirts cost about 1.75 each! 1.00 for the shirt and about 75 cents for the transfer. I was able to get as many as four transfers on a page! Some had just two or three transfers, but it averaged out to less than 2 bucks each. The party went like this: Kids arrived about 6:00 when they arrived, they put on makeup deep red lipstick -- almost a burgandy -- just to stain their lips, not a lot of it. and pale white concealer. Even though the Vampires in Twilight don't have fangs, we provided the kids with fangs. We also used them for the napkin rings. Where did we get Fangs in February you ask? Peter Piper Pizza! Cost us a heck of a lot of play time to get them, but now we had enough for THAT party and the NEXT party which will be playing the movie party after it comes out. We used a Peter Piper Pizza coupon for lunch and tokens so it was an 'okay' deal. Next we ate pizza. I got 5 pizzas on the 5.55 deal. We had enough pizza for all the kids and left overs for the next 6 meals for everyone. LOL We still have pizza left despite eating it breakfast lunch and dinner for two days. On the tables there was chips, with dip. The dip and salsa I put it in black salsa bowls, and on top of the dip I just put red food coloring. It looked like blood! There were three red bowls with chips. Hot cheetos (red), and taco chips. In red cups there were black and red licorice. The cake was the really cool part. There were flowers on the table and there was some of the red ribbon. The table looked good. The cake was a dark chocolate cake, with strawberry filling. White icing. Red scallops on the bottom, Black scallops on the top. That part a bakery did. The rest I did. On the top of the cake were red and black poms at the bottom left and top right on the cake. The left side of the cake had a picture of Bella and Edward on it. At the top of the cake on the left was an apple. ON the bottom right side of the cake was a queen, and a pawn we only had glass chess pieces but they looked cool. There was a ribbon in the middle, and we had found an orchid that was a burgandy red and white that *looked* like a parrot tulip~! Next we did the Treasure hunt with riddles for clues. I made sure they ran off their energy running indoors to outdoors, and all over the yard and house. Back and forth. They had to bring back the clues to the house and read the clue in front of everyone. The one who figured out the clue got to keep the envelope and clue, and they got more prizes. After we did the treasure hunt we bobbing for apples. My daughter Tya ROCKED at this. She had 9 of the apples when we were done! We had two dish pans with apples in them. They raced to see who could get the most apples. Whoever won, played the next person. The person with the most apples at the end won the most prizes. (They got to choose from the treasure boxes, which were overflowing they were so full!). After we bobbed for apples, I had the kids go in the backyard and play flashlight tag and flashlight hide and go seek. Each of the children had brought a flashlight, and I had extra's from our bobs. They had a blast running around with flashlights in the backyard. *snort* no real rules, but it was fun. Singing Happy Birthday, then Cake. (I didn't do icecream, I figured the cake and all the other junk food was enough). We did presents, then that was the end of party one. RIght on TIME! WOO HOO! 8:00 -- the party was from 6-8. THEN Came the sleepover party. We started with stories. Lots of stories about each other. Just talking. It wasn't planned, it was spontanious. Each of the kids talked about things they had done that embarrassed them, or things their siblings had done. Ricky (my son) had a LOT of stories about him told. He had gotten in trouble earlier in the day for 'bopping' someone on the head with an empty two liter bottle at school. His friend got mad and then pushed him. Both of them wound up suspended for a day. Ricky spent the night with the boy (his best friend) last night. LOL So much for 'fights'. Anyway, lots of stories were told, and we spent about an hour laughing and talking. What we were supposed to do during this time, was play Rock, Paper, Scissors. However, it was so fun talking that I forgot and we didn't have time. Next party! Then, movie time. We watched Lemony Snicket Series of Unfortunate Events. Some of the kids hadn't seen it, but they fell asleep part way through. I was in my room playing neopets! The kids who were awake at the end of the movie were told it was bedtime. MY BAD In the invitation for the sleep over, I had done, I wrote "You are invited to Katy's 12th Birthday Party" THEN I wrote, "A Twilight Sleep-never" I put the time from 6:pm Friday to the next day at 10. LOL. They stayed awake ALL NIGHT telling ghost stories and dozing now and then. They woke me up at 2,3,4, 5, and finally at 6 I got up and gave up. The kids had donuts and a fruit tray for breakfast. Milk and juice. I got the donuts on clearance, but it didn't seem to matter, they still tasted good. I got the fruit reduced, already cut. It was reduced from 18$ for the tray to 8 dollars for the tray, it was a really big tray of fruit and filled all of the girls. Easy for me, I had planned on French toast and fruit, but decided I would be too tired. I was right! That morning, I went on Neopets and one of the girls showed me another kids play area she went on. Webkins? Anyway she was telling me her pets EXPIRE after a while and disappear. Hello? That is no fair! You have to buy the pets to be able to access the web site too. NO FAIR! I love neopets so I introduced her to my pets (on all five accounts) and made her an account (after getting an okay from her Mom). The rest of the morning the kids helped clean up, got their gear packed up, and put on another movie for a little while. Parents came at 10 to pick the kids up and that was the end of a very fun party. That was the GOOD, this is the bad and the ugly: Every party has to have things that don't go exactly as planned. First, we had invited a girl who was new to Girls Activity Day at our church. I had met her once. She called the day of the party, when I was really busy with other things, and asked if she could 'bring her sister to the party'. I asked how old the sister was and she said "9", I told her, that wasn't really a good idea since all the other kids were older. However, she came anyway! Not only THAT but she stayed the NIGHT! Hello? Then I heard the mother SCREAMING at the girls as they were hanging up the phone about not giving me her name and things like that. What kind of parents are those? Not just that, but I never met the parents, they got picked up and dropped off by another parent. The only problems I had that night were with these two kids. "I hurt my hand, can I have some ice". "I fell in a hole and heard a 'pop' in my ankle, can I have some ice?", (Nothing was bruised, sore or hurting after about half a minute of ice!) "my stomach hurts" (this was said after she had eaten about 5 pieces of pizza and drank a liter of soda, ate more than her fair share of licorice and red hots, and had two BIG pieces of cake. Hello? Of course it hurts! (This was all the same girl, the older of the two). Then, the other one, threw up the next morning, after eating (I was told) 6 donuts! After she threw up, I told her not to eat any more, but caught her with another donut in one hand, and then a few minutes later she was eating fruit. Apparently both girls are well on their way to eating disorders. Another small problem we had was there was no stopper for the ice chest. URgh. We didn't find out until the next morning when one of the girls (soaking wet) said her pillow and sleeping bag was all wet. We popped them in the dryer and cleaned up the mess. OTHER than those problems, we had no fights, no arguments, no problems, everything went smoothly. I spent a lot of money on the party. More than I could afford really. I used Katy's birthday money and this was her present from me. It cost me about 8 dollars just for the vampire teeth (not a good move on my part). Cake was 18 dollars. However I am terrible at making cakes. They always turn out lopsided and with flakes of cake in the icing. Better for someone else to do that. I HAD been trading some children's books for a cake, but the lady flaked out on me and never returned my calls or emails after she agreed to do the cake in trade for about 100 dollars worth of children's books (three BIG BOXES). The t-shirts were my best 'wow' of the evening. Inexpensive (I got 6 t-shirts for 6 dollars, so 12 for 12. I used a 5$ Target gift card for those, and only paid about 7.50 with tax..) Then I went to Walmart for the other things. I spent a total of 35 dollars at Walmart for everything, and then paid with a 20 dollar gift card that Katy had gotten, and a 15 dollar Master Card gift card I had gotten from an Oil of Olay rebate (I had gotten the Oil of Olay FREE with coupons at CVS!). Cash out of pocket was almost nothing (a little tax). My big expenses were the 34 dollars with tip pizza, and the cake (18). The dollar store also cost me about 10 dollars. All in all it was a LOT Of things for a little cash outlay. I got the apples free. Much of the decorations we will use for a second party in about two weeks when the movie comes out. I have about 30 packets of popcorn that HAVE to get used up, and we will invite kids over to have popcorn and juice and watch the movie. I have the bowls to use again (three big red bowls), and I have a red table cloth I bought at Christmas for 1.25 that I will wash and reuse. I am leaving the party decorations up for the next two weeks, so we have a twilight house for a while. LOL Anyway, that is the Twilight party It was fun.  

Aint2nuts

Aint2nuts

 

Living the life

Poor in American means something so much different than poor in other countries. The government classifies me as being poor. However I have a car (albiet unpaid for), a microwave, televisions, air conditioning, a stove, refridgerator, clothes washer and dryer. I even have a DVD player. A Computer with INTERNET access! An educations past elementary school. Medical care is provided by the government for myself and my children. The church provides my food for two weeks of the month. Overall, I live comfortably.   Most of the things I have though have been given to me. On my own, I could not afford to live like this. Freecycle has provided me with a microwave, bookcases, chairs, computer, bird and cage, even food on occasion, my parents paid for my dryer, paid for a car for me, that was later vandalized and totaled by the insurance company, and I had to replace it. My church has provided beds for my children. My church has already said that if I lose my income (due to government budget collapse) they won't be able to help me out much more than they are already doing. All of the money I have comes from the US government. After bills are paid, I have a little left for food, the rest is supplied by the church. I still have SOME food storage, but it would be a VERY poor diet.   What have I done to help myself out of in this mess? Well, I am planting a garden so it will provide me with fresh produce that I can't afford on my own. I have stored food (beans rice, wheat, sugar, honey, flour, canned vegetables etc0 and been able to live off of that for most of 6 months now, with some help (about 1-2 weeks worth) from the church each month. I buy things on sale, when they are close to free. I have cut back almost everywhere I can. I am learning to waterbath can again, and I have made cranberry juice and canned tangerines from my parents trees. I have squeezed lemons and frozen lemon juice, and I am going to try canning some.   There are some things I haven't done. I haven't gotten rid of the housekeeper. Being disabled, physically, I am still unable to do all of the things that need to be done here in the house, though I am getting more 'able' as I lose weight and my medications are adjusted (the ones that put me to sleep 16-20 hours a day). If I don't have a housekeeper, I would lose this house. It gets inspected often, and has to be kept fairly immaculate and clutter free. I have bought a car that I probably shouldn't be affording. I can't afford to repair a car, so I bought the best car I could budget for (at that time). Now it is hurting us financially since we lost our child support payments.   However, there are things I haven't been able to provide my children with. Clothing. I have only been able to afford clothing by the grace of God and the help of friends. My son needs shoes desperately, he has holes in the bottoms of his shoes, and the sides are split out, and they don't fit him, he broke his toenail at the base of his nailbed, because he tripped and the shoes were too tight. I told him on the 28th we can go and get shoes. (We get paid the 27th)   I can't afford birthdays. Katy is turning 12 on Monday and there isn't money for all the frills. So she is getting a sleepover on Friday the 27th with me doing the best I can to make it fun, for little money.   I shouldn't have pets. I can't afford them. I am out of cat food and I am using human food to feed them for the next two weeks until I can get more cat food. I thought we had another bag of cat food in the garage -- turns out we didn't and we ran out. If our pets were to get sick, I couldn't afford vet fees and that is just unfair to the animals. We selfishly keep them because we love them.   Clothing for myself. I am wearing clothing that is way too big for me, because I have lost a lot of weight. However, I can't afford to buy more. I was able, thanks to a Mrs Survival Angel to buy a new bra that actually fits and some underclothing. Clothing is a luxury, and since the clothing I have still covers me, not a priority.   The US Government puts absolute value to poverty. Quote: " The "Absolue poverty line" is the threshold below which families or individuals are considered to be lacking the resources to meet the basic needs for healthy living; having insufficient income to provide the food, shelter and clothing needed to preserve health.The 2007-2008 poverty threshold was measured according to the Poverty Guidelines "   For a family of four, in the contiguous US anything below 21400 a year is considered poverty. That is roughly 1893 dollars a month for my family. We are below that level by a good bit. In a study in 1993 of low income single mothers that was titled Making Ends Meet, by Kathryn Edin showed that the mothers spent more than their reported incomes because they could not "make ends meet" without such expenditures. According to Edin, they made up the difference through contributions from family members, absent boyfriends, off-the-book jobs, and church charity. No absent boyfriends here, but I have family, and friends, and church who have helped me a lot.   There are things I am doing to reduce my outgo, especially this past year. I cut back on expenses. The cell phone went, long distance calling plan, I lowered my high speed internet to "OMG is this thing working?" speed. All driving is condensed into one trip when possible, routing it the best way to reduce gas use. I am going to be cutting back on the housekeeper so that she comes once every other week. I am having a hard time with this one for two reasons -- will I be able to do this? and am I going to hurt Nellie's (my helper) bottom line, because so many people have already canceled on her that she is losing HER house. I have helped her out with food when I go through my pantry or come back from the food bank, because she is in the same boat I am -- low income, single Mom. I am couponing, which has enabled me to get sanitary supplies, shampoo, razors, soap, toothpaste and toothbrushes free or almost free. I have cut my spending at the grocery store in half -- more than half. I barter for things we need or want.   What is all this for? What does it all mean? Just a Daily Wine. or Whine. However you want to spell it. Not a particulary good vintage, but there you have it.                

Aint2nuts

Aint2nuts

 

Krispy Kreme Donuts....oh I miss these....soooo

Krispy Kreme Doughnuts I am going to make them myself!   Raised Doughnuts -- Simply delicious and decadent.   Ingredients: 2 pkg. Regular or Rapid rises yeast 1/4 cup Warm water (105 to 115) 1 1/2 cups lukewarm milk (scaled then cooled) 1/2 cup sugar 1 tsp., salt 2 eggs 1/3 cup shortening 5 cups all purpose flour (see note) Vegetable oil   Creamy Glaze or Chocolate Glaze   Method: 1. Dissolve yeast in warm water in 2 1/2-quart bowl.   2. Add milk, salt, eggs, Shortening and 2 cups flour. Beat on low speed, scraping bowl Constantly, 30 seconds. Beat on medium speed scraping bowl Occasionally, 2 minutes. Stir in remaining flour until smooth.   3. Cover and let rise in warm place, until double, 50 to 60 minutes. (Dough Is ready when indentation remains when touched.)   4. Turn dough onto floured surface; roll around lightly to coat with Flour. Gently roll dough 1/2 inch thick with floured rolling pin. Cut with floured doughnut cutter. Cover and let rise until double, 30 to 40 minutes   5. Heat vegetable oil in deep fryer to 350 degrees. Slide doughnuts into hot oil with wide spatula. Turn doughnuts as they rise to the Surface. Fry until golden brown, about 1 minute on each side. Remove carefully from oil (do not prick surface); drain.   6. Dip the Doughnuts into creamy glaze set on rack then when slightly cooled spread chocolate glaze on top.   Note: Works better to use 1/2 all purpose flour and 1/2 cake flour when this recipe was used.   ==================================   Creamy Glaze   Ingredients: 1/3 cup butter 2 cups powered sugar 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla 4 to 6 Tbsp. hot water   Method: Heat butter until melted; Remove from heat. Stir in powered sugar and Vanilla until smooth. Stir in water, 1 tbsp. at a time, until desired Consistency.   =================================   Chocolate Glaze   Ingredients: 1/3 cup butter 2 cups powered sugar 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla 4 to 6 Tbsp. hot water 4 oz milk chocolate chips or semi- sweet chips   Method: Heat butter and Chocolate over low heat until chocolate is melted; remove from heat. Stir in powered sugar and vanilla until smooth. Stir in water 1 tbsp. at a time, until desired consistency.

Aint2nuts

Aint2nuts

 

Time with my youngest!

My daughter and I created a limerick, actually we created two, but one turned out...well unsuitable for turning in 'officially' so we created another one for turning in. However her teacher read the first one and gave her a grade on the first one -- A+ LOL She said "Eeewwww....good but eewww..."   We started off with my daughter's name (Tya, age 11) and changed it to Mia (You will read WHY)   There once was a girl named Mia   Who lived in the land of Korea   She cooked all the food   It was bad, so they sued   And she said, "Gotta go, Diarrea!"   The second one she wrote was a poke at her teacher, whose name is Ileen, and she calls herself "The only Queen" (In her room) She has Queen up all over her room. LOL So, Tya did this one to poke fun.   There once was a Princess Ileen   Who wanted to be crowned the Queen   Against it, her father, the King   Because of all the MUD she did Fling!   Little Princess Illeen wasn't Queen.       Luckily her teacher has a great sense of humor and liked both poems. LOL       Onto my garden. I haven't been able to come up with the 75 dollars required to rototill the yard, and can't physically do it. I am hoping the beginning of next month we will manage. Luckily there is something you can plant here every month of the year.   I am planting rosemary in the front, and going to allow it to spread to cover as much of the yard as it wants to cover.   My daughter Katy is having a birthday on the 23rd of Feb. Her party is going to be the 27th because I can buy pizza on that day (I will get paid the 27th because the first lands on Sunday). She is having a Twilight party. With a spectacular Twilight cake. I am trading children's books for a cake!            

Aint2nuts

Aint2nuts

 

Shouts in the Dark

Last night at about 11 we heard screams. Sirens. I went to bed, with doors locked and the gun under my pillow.   This morning, my kids reported to me that 'something was happening outside' and the police told them to get back. They told me there was police tape up and they went under it and the police told them to go back the other way (they walk to school via this road). Come to find out, last night two women were stabbed by a man. http://www.azfamily.com/news/local/stories...ing.c823bb.html He is on the run from police. This is the interview of me at my home. http://www.myfoxphoenix.com/dpp/news/peoria_attack_021009 This is the interview of me in my car, coming back from somewhere.   From where I am sitting in the car, there you could see the blood on the street. There are gangs everywhere, Black gangs, Mexican gangs, Hispanic -- whatever. There is a black gang that hangs out three doors down from our house. Tonight there was a fight in front of the house and police were called. (By me and I am sure others). I have seen people smoking crack in front of that house, and marijuana.   On the other side of the street, at the corner, there is another gang -- Hispanic - that hangs out. Mostly teenages, but sometimes there are small kids and older people in there too. That is where the stabbing was a few months ago.   There is a crazy man who lives somewhere along the street where this man stabbed those women. Crazy on drugs? Mentally ill? I don't know, I do know he was smoking some kind of drugs in an apple bong the other day. My kids came to me with the story that the man was 'trying to light an apple on fire on the top" Google Apple bong, shows how to make one. That is what he had. Cheap, easy to make and you can always ditch part of it and eat the apple. LOL   Anyway, the first interview that I had was with Fox news in my car. One of the things I said, that I am glad they didn't quote me on was "This neighborhood is going downhill like the economy". It is true, but I would be willing to bet my neighbors wouldn't like me saying it. Bad enough what I did say.   It was interesting that at first I didn't know I was being interviewed, I had stopped the car to ask if they had caught the man, and the reporter came over to answer me, the camera man followed and had the camera at waist height. Then he put it on his shoulder after a few questions. ACK I look terrible. My hair is a mess, My face is all swollen and fat. That is my daughter in the background.   The second interview was from News 3 knocking on my door. They had to walk past a messy yard full of horse dung. LOL It rained last night and it smelled -- like horse dung! LOL The entire yard is covered in it waiting for me to have enough money to rototill the yard.   I hate this neighborhood, but like I said, I am putting in a garden. I am single, disabled, poor, living in the Barrio, in a bad gang infested neighborhood, but I am here and I have to live here, problably until I die.   I hate that my kids are exposed to this and I have no way out.    

Aint2nuts

Aint2nuts

 

Spring Fling! (and more)

The ....things....I ordered came in. WOO HOO!!! Now I have to box up and ship the spring fling items. Ready to ship out on Monday! Can you say WOO HOO? I thought you could!   I packed the box, and then -- it wouldn't all FIT, so I unpacked the box, and then repacked another box. It wouldn't all FIT, so I unpacked the box, looked at what I was sending, looked throuigh all my boxes and went with a BIGGER BOX....it all fit. WOO HOO. I had to use a little survival tool as packing material. *grin* Might take them a minute to figure out what it could be used for...but she...or he... will get it.   There are some weird things in the box, and a clue as to who I am. They should get that immediately. It is a GOOD clue. LOL   Today and yesterday I went yard saling. Yesterday I bought a BBQ grill. In good condition, with a 5 gallon propane tank. 10 dollars. Delivered to my house for 5. Good deal. I needed an alternative cook method, and I figured with the propane I could get more bottles and have a way to cook meals! WOO HOO!   I bought something totally frivoulous. A Corner cabinet for my tiny porcelain dolls that my Mom gave me and my Delft. I keep worried about it getting broken so I bought the corner unit. It cost me 40 dollars. (It was listed on Craigslist for 50 and I talked her down 10).   Also frivolous, but totally cool. The GOOD (bigger) Playstation 2, carrying case, cords, two controlers and three memory cards 20 dollars. 6 games for 5 dollars more. I felt like I was stealing from the kids because, even used, they go for 100 bucks on Criagslist.   NON frivolous stuff. 5 dollars each for a big plastic bin of felt, a big box of fabric (mostly cottons, in pretty colors and florals, good for sun dresses for the girls), and a big basket of yarn.   Books for 10 cents each. I bought 40 books from one place that was really stocked full of good kids books. Another place had bodice ripper (Historical romance) books and some mysteries (My Mom reads the mysteries and romance mysteries).   Shovel 2 bucks. A brand new box with 6 canning jars, a jar puller, a magnetic lid lifter, a canning funnel, a spice bag, and some recipes for salad dressings / vinegrettes. All new still packaged! Two tables clothes -- retail price on them was 45 dollars and 50 dollars -- for 1$ each -- they were unopened! The one in blue goes really well in my front room! I use table clothes to cover up the fact that there is no finish on my dining room table. I wasn't going to buy them (didn't even ask the price) We left and signs led up back there from a different direction and I asked my daughter to go ask the price. 1 buck I couldn't pass up!   Today I found more books. One activity book with some great ideas in it for kids. Several kids books. Clothes (summer) for Katy for 25 cents each.       Every place I stopped at I asked about canning jars. No one had them but the one half box that came with the canning supplies. I went to Goodwill and they want 1,.49 for pints and 99 cents for 1/2 pints. Not going to happen.        

Aint2nuts

Aint2nuts

 

TADA!

It is getting to be the end of the day./.. a long SUCCESSFUL day.   Katy is in a virtual bowling league. I took her to do her last months and this months bowling this morning -- 4 rounds. Lets just say -- she is not a bowler and I am not a good coach! Her lowest score was a 7. Her highest was a 53.   We then went and shared an appetizer at TGI Fridays. Good stuff, but too much of it.   Then off to my therapist's. I have agreed that A. I will go to church this weekend and sit outside of the santuary for the first hour, then attend both of the other meetings. B. I will get my bed cleared off. LOL .   After we got done there, we headed home. I completed a deal. Yesterday I got books that I am trading for a CAKE for my daughter's birthday! A Twilight Cake. Really cool one. If I can figure out how to post a picture I will post a picture of it.   Then someone freecycled a box of food -- four mince pies, two containers of spinach, one container of lettuce -- HUGE -- two small containers- tins - of cookies, applesauce, oatmeal packets, 2 liter coke 0, three loaves of bread, two containers of hamburger buns, green tea, tomatoes, and green onions. Quite a haul for free! I love Freecycle!   I made a ham last night (almost 8 dollars a Frys two days ago 88 cents a lb!) I have ham coming out my ears, so last night I soaked beans and today I made 16 bean soup. Good stuff. I love bean soup with a ham, and then I will make it into a minestrone in a few days. We will be eating for days off this pot of beans and ham, carrots and celery (from my food storage), and onions. If I had a pressure canner I would be processing about 4-5 quart jars -- this is a HUGE pot of soup.   Tonight I am just relaxing. Wishing I had something more than Popcorn (Harlequin type romances) to read.            

Aint2nuts

Aint2nuts

 

Day 2

Today is a 'day of running'. Running here and there, post office (No my box isn't ready -- well it IS but I ordered something that will be here in a few days and have to wait for that to ship it!) I have two other boxes to mail.   I found sheets for my neice for her birthday -- Spongebob. She loves Spongebob, and her birthday is Valentines day. I also got sheets for my nephews -- Spiderman! They love superheros. I also got them vitamins (free after coupons -- or almost free in one case). I sent a long some of the tea that I had gotten free too.   Then, I am trading someone for a Hyundai alarm/door opener thing for my car. Usually they are really expensive, she has this one that she is trading me for candles and three bars of soap. LOL Good deal!   so BANG (starting gun) I am off. To get tape and then package these things up and off to my brothers kids and my trade. WOO HOO!!! See you all later.     UPDATE:   I went to the post office and mailed my packages. Went to the park and SCORED On some kids books someone was giving away -- freebies are always nice. Then I was able to take two HUGE boxes of kids books away with me and see if I can barter them for something! Cool beans.   We got home and I relaxed and checked my mail ACK -- some idiot moderator on Freecycle told everyone to put a 'test' message out if they wanted to know if they were still on probation or not -- instead of answering the question for each person herself. So A LOT of my messages were stupid TEST messages.   Made some really good corn bread muffins for an afternoon snack for my kids.   2 jiffy corn muffin mixes, 1 can of corn, drained, two eggs and the milk, and a can of chopped jalapeno peppers (whatever strength you like them at) Mix them all together and bake. Oh wow. I love corn muffins with jalapenos and corn in them. I have also added garlic and cheddar cheese. That is really good too.   I found this recipe on a yahoo group I belong to: Homemade Cream Soup Mix-   Use as a replacement for canned cream soups. This dry mix yields the equivalent of 9 cans of condensed cream soup!   2 c. instant nonfat dry milk 3/4 c. cornstarch 1/4 c. low sodium chicken or beef bouillion 1/2 t. dried thyme 1/2 t. dried basil 1/4 t. black pepper   Combine and whirl all ingredients in a blender. Store in an airtight container. To substitute for 1 can of condensed cream soup, stir together 1/3 c. dry mix with 1 c. water in saucepan. Cook and stir until its thickened. Add to recipes as you would canned soup.          

Aint2nuts

Aint2nuts

 

Good Evening Mrs S,....

Well this place is amazing! I love it. Gidgits and Gadgets and places to put informations. I love it! Did I say that already? Well I do. I love it. There, I said it again.   Today has been a run around day. Started way too early. Got free breakfast at Denny's. Good stuff Free. I have been trying to prove to my Dad that there is such a thing as a free lunch since I was in my 20's. He has always said "There is no such thing as a free lunch". Yeah well Pffft. I have had a lot of free breakfasts, lunches and dinners thanks to coupons, the US government and my church. LOL   So during the day I went for free lunch a Denny's. The wait was an hour. Hey -- that isn't FREE! You have to WAIT -- that means I would have to PAY an HOUR of my life for the lunch. Forget it. Went to Olive Garden with a coupon. Had their all you can eat lunch. Two for one. Good deal! I might have had to pay -- but not with my LIFE!   Onwards. Shouldn't have eaten at Olive Garden. Although with just one person having to pay, it was just a llittle bit more than free would have been a Denny's! (Drinks, Tax and Tip).   Got home, jumped online to see if Mrs S was back up. Not.   Gave my son marching orders about the manure pile in the front. Needed to be spread and moved more. He gave me guff, I gave him guff back. We guff each other very much!   Went to my church. I am teaching the older girls at Girls Activity Day how to babysit. Got done there and headed over to the Relief Society President to pay her back some cheese cloth. I borrowed it when I canned 12 quarts and then some of cranberry juice. Needed it to strain out the berries. Gave her some of the extra Mustard I had too -- I have given away 12 of the 24 mustards I got for free.   Yesterday when I went grocery shopping, I saved `175 dollars. bought a lifetime supply of tea. At least my daughter Katy seems to think so. She said as we were walking out of the aisle, "Mom, you better put this Tea in your will" Smart aleck. It is only about 40 boxes. If I have 20 cups a week, that is only a 40 weeks supply! Not even a year! LOL Like I drink that much tea! LOL Not hardly.   Anyway, off I go, to explore great things, to learn new ideas and to post on MrsS! Thank you Darlene for keeping this great place open to us! I enjoy it a lot!

Aint2nuts

Aint2nuts

 

Happenings

Well a lot can happen in a short period of time to change a life completely.   Sometime tomorrow I will be getting a call to tell me when I can sign on the dotted line for a new home. My new home.   The house is a 3255 sf, 6 bedroom, 3.5 bath in Tartesso Buckeye Az. As the crow flies I am just minutes from a Nuclear power plant. figure if it goes,. I will go fast.   the back yard is big, with some raised beds already in, they just need to be supported by some bricks (Summer project), I am thining of turning the entire back yard into a beautiful edible landscaping garden with the help of my NOW next door neighbor.   We move in on the 31st. of the month.   so what happened to enable me to buy a home? A death. My husband (we were seperated) died unexpectly of a heart attack, and now the kids and I are recieving SS benefits. We need to live frugally so we can do the right things and pay down on the house. That is going to include a bunny, or two, inside, for fertilizer.   We have a dog now, and on the first my son is getting his beagle,. a lemon beagle that is cute as can be. My daughter is getting a rabbit (she thinks she wants a hamster, but I am going to change her mind for her and get a rabbit or two lol) I might get a breeding pair, and sell the babies for the meat. I actually like rabbit meat, but don't know if I could do the killing and skinning.   I want a chicken, but the rules for the development say no. sniffle.     When the kids are out of the house I am going to run a boarding home for women who want to live in a house but can't afford one. They will have run of the house, and be able to live in a room upstairs, with a sitting room upstairs *(loft), dining room and pool table, and a television room and kitchen.   I am thinking about getting a spa tub and a swim pool, not a lap pool, but one that you swim in place and it blows the water at you. \   Anyway,. lots of plans. little money we shall see.        

Aint2nuts

Aint2nuts

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