Monday, July 16, 2018

What's for Dinner: This Week's Menu

Well, I'm back to doing menus on Mondays for now.  Why?  Because I've found myself skipping the store ads on the week after my husband gets paid because I don't shop that week except for essentials, really, so I've found myself being able to make a menu on Monday and pretty much sticking with it through the week without worrying about the ads flipping over on Wednesday messing me up.

Oh and enjoy the shot of the breakfast I had to eat the other morning.  I actually made home made Strawberry Julius for the family (it was actually pretty good, but not exactly like I remember Strawberry Julius being) and I had some of the leftovers with breakfast the next morning.  It was actually a pretty good breakfast :).

First, I wanted to field a few questions people have asked.  One, what are larder beetles?  Well, pretty much everywhere I've ever lived had the suckers, but we didn't know them as larder beetles.  Most people know them as black and tan beetles.  Big thing I've found that the pesticide outfits don't cover is that they nest behind baseboards, true, but they also love to nest ANYWHERE dark, so clutter is a must to get rid of if you want to rid yourself of these disgusting little buggers once they are in your house.  You can read more about them on the following Orkin site Larder Beetles, definition and treatment.  The one thing, I luckily have going for me is that I keep the cat's dry food in a sealed five gallon bucket as well, so now I'm just having to chase (and chase, and chase) all of the little nesting places the icky things have been able to find and eradicate them with extreme prejudice and super duper uber clean things over the next couple of months.  Not easy with a special needs kid, but I'm determined to get rid of the suckers.  Period.

Second, about the Monthly Goals this month.  Well, since nuking the house from orbit to get rid of the bugs once and for all isn't an option, right now my monthly goals are pretty much centered around cleaning, cleaning and cleaning some more.  I do have some other goals that I'm writing down and will share, but they will probably be kind of like my shopping goals and just span this and next month with me amending the list next month as needed.  I've got a lot to do, not enough time to do it in (so it seems every day) and am trying to manage my time more wisely.  Writing things down really does seem to help.

Complicating my schedule is that Alvah is starting intensive ABA therapy through the rest of the summer now that school is over, so we're trying to transition him into that the first couple of days this week  (today did not go well, but I expected that).  He'll be in therapy five days a week for two and a half hours a day, so that bites into my time to get things like cooking, baking and housework done.  So, writing things down, checking them off and such is definitely a must the next little bit :).

So, anyway, now that I've rambled on a bit, let's get to this week's menu plan!

Monday:  Soup and Grilled Cheese Sandwiches (I'm PLANNING on making both tomato and Julia Child's Edible Pea Pod soup, but using just frozen peas in their place and messing with the recipe a bit...we'll see how that goes.  The leftovers will go into the freezer for quick lunches later on). 
Tuesday:  Chicken curry and rice (this is one of the Revolution meal kits I got for free.  Since both kids have swimming tomorrow on top of therapy I wanted to do something simple). 
Wednesday:  Ham steak, potatoes, salad 
Thursday:  French Dips (make rolls for sandwiches), french fries, peaches 
Friday:  Roast chicken, roast veggies, rolls 
Saturday:  Chicken salad sandwiches (use leftover chicken) on home made bread, home made potato chips? (Not sure about the potato chips, really, as it depends on what kind and how much vegetable oil I have). 
Sunday:  Pork Roast, mashed potatoes, green beans, apple sauce

Desserts (tentative depending on time):  Apple bundt cake (Wednesday), ice cream (whenever), Mincemeat tarts (Friday)...leftover desserts can be eaten on different days, of course.

And there you go folks.  What we are (hopefully) eating this week.  How about you?

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Frugal Friday: Money Saving Weekly Recap

Well, this week has been busy and productive, but exhausting.  The battle against bug infestation continues.  Bright side to the massive train wreck is that I am finally getting the motivation and energy to do things that I would normally, being as exhausted as I am, as sore as I am and as sinus miserable as I am (darned dust), just put off or do not to the extreme extent that I'm doing now.  So, there's that.  By the time I'm done, I'm hoping I'll have a decently organized, brilliantly clean (that's inevitable the way this is going) and in control home, but in the meantime...I'm busy (understatement of the century).

So, let's get to the things I got accomplished this week and ways I saved money!

1.  Grocery shopping hurt this week.  We got paid, which was good, but we were out of a bunch of stuff, so I pretty much spent our disposable income for the next two weeks on groceries (the rest will go toward gas for the vehicles).  After having to buy medications, limited cleaning supplies to get by and some meat...well it wasn't a small amount.

Bright side is that I DID manage to get pork shoulder roasts on clearance for 7.00 a piece about and since we NEVER eat a full one without having to shove a bunch of it into the freezer, I instead bought them with the express purpose of cutting them in half and making four roasts out of the two.  It worked well, actually, which I was happy about since they were bone in roasts.  Not the prettiest roast with a slight amount of bone sticking out of one of them, but hey, I didn't have to de-bone them or get a bone saw, so I'm happy with it!

2.  I got a new mission in the mail from My Magazine Sharing Network, this time with the theme of a BBQ.  I got a coupon for a free bottle of McCormick Grill Mates seasoning (which I did a stand in for the picture so I could get my mission done...I cheated...I admit it ;), some free Kleenex wet wipes and some free chips.  Missing from the picture was a small bag of Keebler Rainbow Chip cookies (peanut warning on them got them sent immediately to the "peanut containing" box in the garage) and various coupons I received (that I put in the "pass it along" pile to pass along to some friends who might use them).  I sent the potato chips to work with my husband so he can have them for one of his snacks over the next two weeks since we don't really want to spend money on gas station snacks at the moment with how tight money is, the wet wipes got put aside for emergency wet wipes by the entrance to the house so we have them for a messy son and I'll get my free bottle of Grill Mates on my next shopping trip (which I was worried would be after the end date of the mission, thus why I put a stand in bottle of Grill Mates I already had in the picture).

And I got more tissue paper :).  The way this is going I'll have a decent stockpile of the stuff come Christmastime.

3.  We stopped off at the used stores to look, once again, for a decent sized strainer while my son was at therapy (there's a used store like two minutes away, so we can hop over without wasting gas and time) and I FINALLY hit pay dirt!  I was able to get a really nice, big strainer with small enough holes for angel hair pasta not to fit through for 3.99.  I was happy with that.

I was also, finally, able to find a fake plant that would work with a small wall basket I had found at my favorite used store a couple of weeks ago.  I bought both a bigger wall basket (for 1.00) and the smaller wall basket (for .60) to use for a couple of different purposes.  The bigger basket went into my daughter's room and got hung up in the middle of her hat space on her wall and I put a bunch of fake flowers she had in a vase in her room into it.  The vase was always getting put aside into different areas where it would balance precariously and fall off of whatever it was, and I REALLY liked the vase and didn't want to see it get broken (it has, thus far, lived a blessed life in that regard).  It worked great, my daughter loved having the flowers in a location where it wasn't getting in her way and I happily put the vase downstairs where it would, hopefully, be safer.

The smaller basket I had a plan for.  See, I can't do houseplants around here.  I have a son who eats dirt, so that complicates things and he'll also chew on random things, so I'm TERRIFIED he'd eat random house plant leaves (and let's face it...a lot of houseplants are poisonous).  And then I have cats that love to dig.  So, yeah, real plants are out (I was always impressed when I'd go into the bathroom and the Aerogarden would still be alive last year).  But, I kept watching these old educational films on YouTube from the 40's to the 60's and I loved the houseplants that were shown in different homes and how...well...homey they looked. 

So, my plan was to find a fake cloth or silk leafy type of plant, put it into a wall basket, or wall planter looking thing, and make my own fake houseplant.  I even had a place on the wall scoped out, figured out what I would hang with it (a picture that my daughter made in preschool that I love, made out of beans and lentils...I hung it up the day she brought it home and it has hung up in my house since :), figured out where I would re-hang pictures of the kids that used to hang with the butterfly picture (in my hallway where not many people saw either the butterfly or the pictures of the kids), or that used to hang on the wall where the plant and picture were going (a picture of my daughter when she was a baby). 

Honestly, I think my husband thought I was nuts for wanting to get a fake plant and redo everything.  He probably still thinks I'm a little nuts.  But, I'm okay with that *laugh*.

And so, I've scoped out the used stores every single time I went looking for both the wall mount ability and a good fake plant.  Originally I had planned on maybe a fake hanging fern or something that would look more spread out, but rethought that idea when I, for one, couldn't find anything like that at the used stores AT ALL, and two the cost of what something like that would cost if I bought it new and, for three, what my son would do to something that hung down with tons of little parts that could be torn off of it.  So, I decided I'd try and find a leafy type of fake plant, but one that wouldn't spread out too far down the wall. 

I finally found what I wanted at Value Village and it only cost me .99.  I wish they had another so I could have made the final effect look "fuller" but overall, after bending things around and messing with it for a while, I think I got it to come out looking pretty nice.  I am thrilled with how it all looks.

So, for less than two dollars, I got a new home decor element added to the house and bonus is that this section of wall is at the top of the stairs right by my living room so you can see that the plant and picture go GREAT with the love seat's cushions.  I notice these things ;).

4.  I ran into a picture my son had done at school in his back pack and told him how much I loved that he signed his name.  He seemed really thrilled that I noticed his accomplishment, so I hung it up on the fridge.  I really want to try and find a frame around here to frame it and hang it so it's protected.  Him showing pride in his work meant a lot :).

Oh and just because I keep forgetting, here's the picture my daughter drew me for Mother's Day...

5.  We cleaned and organized a lot this week.  We spent two days cleaning out the daughter's room and deep cleaning everything (more time than it SHOULD have taken, but the daughter was being obstinate about doing work and making things difficult until I showed her bugs in my tool bag...that got her cleaning real fast!). 
We are still doing a bunch of stuff to the living room (I'll share more on that when it's more toward being done and less toward being a huge looking mess), but I did manage to get the hallway closet gutted, deep cleaned and reorganized today (well, at least as good as it can get for the moment).

I have one shelf for snacks (the bottom one there) and past that I just kind of stacked things where I could fit them.  Cereal gets stuck in here by default as there is no where else to put it, the kid's fans for their windows are put in here for the time being because they aren't needed and putting them up into the closets is out of the question until I know that no buggies are sticking around in said closets and things.  Cleaning things like my mop, broom, dusters and the like get stuck in there because I have no where else to put them, etc.  So, even though it looks like a cluttered's better than it was.  Trust me *laugh*.

And yeah, I'm going to call it good there as that's what I've basically been up to other than battling bugs left and right around here.  How about you?  How did your week go?

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Shopping Goals: July and August 2018

The Frugal Friday post is coming.  I just put it off till (hopefully) tonight because it was a short week on the frugal front since I posted up last week's so late, so I want to make sure I have some decent content to post :).

When it comes to shopping goals, I decided to combine this month and next month together since this time of year a lot of purchases depend on sales, so it's kind of hard to say when things will go down in price to the point I can afford to get them.  I DOUBT I'm going to be buying anything more this month as we're already down to near scary levels in the bank after getting gas and groceries (the short pay period doesn't help), but who knows what might happen to maybe allow me to get a few essentials in the meantime (like super cheap clearance or something).  I was kind of hoping to be more financially ahead this month as Prime Day with Amazon is coming up in a few days and I was hoping to maybe be able to afford to get a few Christmas gifts out of the way for the family.  Instead, anytime I had any money through Amazon I've ended up spending it on essentials or things that are needed in a more immediate sense, like new sneakers for my husband so he's not killing his feet, or a new backpack and things for the daughter, or replacement DVD's for the son that he's dying without after biting the DVD's and wrecking them (at least I replaced "The Secret of NIMH", we're actually watching it right now *laugh*).  

I did drain the bank account more than I wanted to by taking advantage of some things I found super cheap on Amazon the last few days.  Seventh Generation, I think, jumped on the Prime Day bandwagon early, so they had a 25% off coupon on a bunch of different products.  I have to use their products for the sake of the son's eczema so ANYTIME I can get a good deal on those products, I jump on it.  I ordered a case of six bottles of dish soap that the box had been opened for cheap (hopefully the "Very good" condition wasn't a lie and the dish soap is in good shape *fingers crossed*) and I ordered some dish washing detergent pods as their big container after coupon was cheaper than I spend on a small container of their pods.  I have other things on Subscribe and Save as well (I'll get to that HUGE list in a I'm going to pay for all of it at this point...we'll see how the next paycheck goes.  I can pray, anyway).

School supplies are a worry as I know the daughter is going to need different things this year than she did in elementary school, so I am waiting on pins and needles about how bad THAT is going to be with 7 different teachers making demands this year.  

Basically the larder beetle infestation could not have picked a WORSE time to hit.  There is so much going on (needing clothes, gym shoes, school supplies, etc) and then having to replenish EVERY SINGLE cleaning item I have in the house at the same's amazing I'm not breathing into a paper bag all day.  I can't even reuse vacuum bags as doing that will just spread the eggs and make the bug problem worse.  UGH!!!  I even lost a bunch of embroidery floss yesterday as the miserable things crawled through a small gap in the bottom of my sewing box and spread in there.  At least my tool bag I was able to clean and make sure the tools got washed and oiled and everything could be put back where it came from without worries.  I'm amazed, utterly creeped out and disgusted beyond measure how quickly these things spread and where they end up at.  We got the daughter's room completely gutted yesterday and cleaned everything thoroughly and today it's gutting the hallway closet and seeing how bad they spread in there.  My bugaphobia is at all time highs, and believe me, I have a pretty high level of it already.

Great.  My anxieties have anxieties.  I'm slowly morphing into Charlie Brown *laugh*.

So, anyway, anxious tired tangent there, sorry.  Back to the matter at hand.  Spending money I don't have *laugh*.

So, here we go!  This month's and next month's shopping goals.  This is a tentative list for next month as I will probably amend it and figure out what I need to buy next month (or basically figure out what I can afford, if anything) when it gets here.  

Regular Stores:
  • School Supplies (waiting for the super sale on school supplies there) 
Payless Shoes  (or Amazon, depending on price): 
  • Gym Shoes for both children
  • Socks for both children (especially the son as he keeps stealing mine out of the laundry, since we're in the same size sock now *grumble*)
  • Meat (I got some on reduced this week, but still need to get more if I can afford it and the reductions are good enough)
  • Greens (to freeze for over the winter, since I couldn't plant a garden this year)
  • Storage onions (I only have two onions left, so definitely need these)

Used Stores:
  • Back to school clothes
  • Binders (maybe, depending on size needed for daughter)
  • Jeans and shirts (for clothes are finally falling apart, especially my 20 year old t-shirts and things)
  • Home decor items (this is only at BOTTOM of the barrel pricing as I need money for other things around here)

Cleaning Supplies Needed (in General, will get where cheap and such):
  • Bleach
  • White Vinegar
  • Chlorine Free Bleach
  • All Purpose Cleaner
  • Window Cleaner (to use on mirrors and things in son's room as the smell of vinegar really makes him gaggy)
  • Mop and bucket (bucket is developing a crack and my mop is losing pieces off of it every time I use it now)
  • Broom (it's on its last legs)
  • Dish cloths (I'm going through one a day and need some extras)
  • Cleaning sponges
  • Bathroom cleaner
  • DAP (to redo sinks, tubs, the splash guard in the kitchen, fill in gaps in the kitchen floor, etc)
  • Garbage Bags (contains affiliate links.  If you order through these links I get a small commission from Amazon for shooting the sale their way.  You aren't charged any extra for doing this.  If you order through these links, thank you for your support!):
And, yeah, there's my "Oh my goodness that's long!" list.  How about you?  Got things you need to buy this month?

Friday, July 6, 2018

Frugal Friday: Money Saving Weekly Recap

I am TIRED right now, so I apologize for the lateness of the post, any grammatical errors and any weird tangents I might go on.  I am going to back schedule this post to "post" on Friday of last week.  Why?  Because posting up a Friday post on Tuesday makes me annoyed at myself, so at least I can trick Blogger into back posting this to the right day *laugh*.

So, ever wonder how to make yourself have the energy to make your home look like it stepped out of a Pottery Barn catalog?  You know, that crisp, "Everything is so CLEAN" look.

Well, I have the answer to that question.  Get yourself an infestation of a nasty bug in your house and you'll be AMAZED how much energy and time you will put into detail cleaning your house each day.

Turns out those little beetles that were flying through my screens because they were so tiny?  Well, not all of them were spruce beetles.  Nope, some of them were TEENY TINY little larder beetles.  Larder beetles are a bug that seek out ANY food you might have in your carpets, around your walls and basically anywhere, lay hundreds of eggs get the idea.  Unfortunately, to make matters that much worse is that I have a kiddo who likes to spread food EVERYWHERE multiple times a day, so the larder beetles found food around base boards and things and just went berserk.

I don't have an out and out infestation, but I'm holding a line and one that could quickly fall to the enemy if I let my guard down for one second.  I've been seeking out and destroying bugs left and right.  They managed to get into my seed storage (which shocked and horrified me when I opened the container), so I had to throw all of my seeds away (I cried, I'll admit it).  I had to put all of my material, that isn't in my sewing cabinet (so far that has come through okay, but I'm keeping an eye on it) into ziploc bags to keep it safe from larvae.  I move ALL furniture every single day to vacuum under it.  I sweep floors multiple times a day and mop with bleach solution daily to kill off anything that might be lurking there.  I emptied the son's closet, completely, including all toy boxes and cleaned thoroughly, but while I was at it I weeded out a ton of old toddler toys that I know he won't play with (he is, after all, underneath it all, a kid who is getting older and getting insulted that we might want him to play with "baby" things).  Last night I found a few beetles in my pantry, freaked, went through and thoroughly cleaned and checked things over (luckily the majority of things that aren't on shelves and sealed up are in cans and the canned goods are the things on the floor right now).

I am out of cleaning supplies now, badly.  I am using the rest of my white vinegar to clean with (which is getting low) and I have nothing resembling all purpose cleaner, bathroom cleaner or anything like that at this point.  I've been clocking in days that end at 2 to 3 am, just cleaning (pulling towels off of shelves and washing them, scrubbing the shelves and getting into every little space and crevice type of cleaning), organizing, weeding (larder beetles love clutter, so I've been going MAD with the decluttering) and getting ready to get up the next day and start the whole mess over again.  The life span of these buggers is TWO MONTHS, so I've got a long, hard fight ahead of me to try and stop them from reproducing in droves.  This is depressing for sure, but it could be so much worse (knock on wood there, please don't take that as ANY type of challenge, Lord!) as at least I store my food to try and protect it from mice and bugs, so that has helped (thank GOD for Tupperware and five gallon buckets with a good seal on them).

We also had a heat wave (for us, I apologize to my wimpy "Alaskan" threshold for temperatures *laugh*) and the temps shot into the 80's last week, which finally we had to install the air conditioner as the upstairs in our house was HOT and the kids couldn't sleep with the heat that bad.  So, my electric bill between the fans and the air conditioner and the vacuum cleaner running constantly...ugh...I don't even want to KNOW what that is going to do it.  We are now back down into the 50's and wearing coats, so we'll see how the weather shakes out the rest of the summer.  The weather this summer is kind of nutty.

So, yeah, now that my house is sparkly clean (when was the last time you pulled off a baseboard and cleaned behind it?) and having to stay that way for a while, let's get to the money SAVING things that happened this week.  I've been busy, so be prepared as the list is kind of long.

1.  The Fourth of July was a pretty good holiday around here.  We had hamburgers and hot dogs for dinner, lemon bars for dessert, a visit from our local sister missionaries (which was fun) and I was even able to make some decorations to go with the few I had already made or had from past holidays.

This year I made paper fans to hang on the wall, which I thought turned out pretty well all things considered.  I used some patriotic looking scrap booking paper I had in my stores and when I didn't have enough to make a second big fan, I used a large sketch pad and made a last one with some paper and markers.  Overall, I was happy with how it all turned out.

Past that display I polished up the bi-centennial bowl and put out some blue and red windmills we had around the house and put out the flags we had in a blue bottle in the middle of the table.  I was happy with how the decorations came together.

2.  Shopping went as minimal as I could make it over the week due to wanting to save as much money as possible as next paycheck is our small paycheck for the month.  The biggest happy surprises this week were finding out that Carrs had given me a personalized price on milk ALL MONTH LONG this month!  So, I can get gallons of 2%, 1% or fat free milk for 2.38 per gallon.  I was thrilled with that!  I also needed bacon for the occasional breakfast dinner and had a coupon loaded for Farmland bacon to make it 2.99 per pound (or whatever passes for a pound anymore).  I found some packages 50% off as well, so stacking the discount with the coupon I got bacon for 1.49 per pound.  The 2 lb packages of cheese were also on sale for 4.99 this week with a digital only coupon, so I got some shredded cheese for use in recipes (and I found that the son will eat some of it if I mix it with the Tilamook cheese he loves, so it's working as a Tilamook extender as well).

3.  We stopped off at the used store earlier in the week to look for a new pasta strainer as mine is losing its handles.  I didn't find a strainer, but I DID find a material remnant I picked up for 1.00 (seen on the left above there) to turn into throw pillows for the love seat.  I had to make the material work to make two pillows, so one of the pillows has a seam on the back, but it still turned out looking nice.  I'm not sure why I love this material design so much, but I do.  It's a heavy upholstery fabric as well, so I'm hoping it'll wear well.  I did wash and dry it before using it and it washed quite well overall, so I was happy with that.  I also found a cool Corvette panel that I'm thinking was originally to make a pillow case out of, but someone had cut cut off part of said panel.  I bought it to turn it into a throw pillow for the son's bed as he LOVES the throw pillows on his sister's bed.

Seen above is the unstuffed throw pillows I made before I stuffed them and sewed them shut.  I went through my fabric stores to make new throw pillows for the sofa down in the den as my son had just stained the heck out of the throw pillows I had made a while ago and since I was washing so much stuff around here, I figured I'd make new pillows with the old stuffing from the other pillows.  It worked well and I think the new pillows go with the red cushion covers on the couch a lot better than the blue ones did.

So, finished products.  Here you go...

Downstairs couch (I still need to recover the center pillow in another color, but I don't have any material that goes with the couch better right now).

Son's throw pillow.

And the love seat (I really do love those pillows).

4. I received my latest Generation Good mission to try out wet wipes.  I got three travel sized packages of wipes, so I've been keeping them in my purse for emergencies.  I've already used one, so I'm happy I have them.

5.  As previously stated I've been doing a LOT of cleaning, so I decided to finish up the reorganizing of the pantry while I was at it (I had to rip everything out and scrub the shelves and things anyway).  I was happy in that I was able to empty out an entire shelf off of my home canned goods shelves and moved a bunch of canned goods that I use all the time up onto the shelf and put things like the small amount of vegetable oil I have and things onto the shelf as well.  It makes grabbing things and going for dinner and stuff a LOT easier with the new system.

I was also able to pull the food storage cans out of the sewing cabinet (which worked out because than I could better organize my fabric in said cabinet so it will be easier to tell if I have a beetle problem developing in there) and I put those into the pantry where I can better access them.  The couple of big boxes next to the canning lids are actually boxes with my empty canning jars in them, since I didn't can as much this year due to the garden not happening.

When I took these pictures I was still organizing and cleaning.  All the buckets in the pantry got a deep clean on the lids and sides and I went over the home canned goods well with some cleaner and things as well just to be sure there wasn't any food residue on them to attract bugs.

There's not much room to maneuver at the back of the pantry now due to the food storage being there, but it works.  The condiment shelf didn't move, but got a good clean and everything put back onto it.

6.  While in the midst of the cleaning frenzy/bug war, I rearranged the den and put my sewing table where I was planning on putting a table for cutting fabric.  I couldn't stand being stuck in a small corner at the backside of the den was just kind of depressing to sew there and my table was also right in the middle of catch-all area for the den, so my sewing table always got buried.  So, now it's out in the open, I have a small can to put my thread clippings and little scraps of fabric to be thrown away and I was even able to put my sewing form (under my black hoodie there) in the area.  I've got plans for the dresser, maybe, so we'll see where else this area goes, but I was happy with having the sewing table out in the main area more.

7.  In the midst of everything I was still able to mend a pair of pants, a shirt and added about fifteen things to the mending pile (doh!), which, for now, is being stored in my dresser for fear of what leaving it out in the open might do.

8.  My husband took a four day weekend for the Fourth of July and my son enjoyed spending time with him the most of all, I think.  He LOVED having his dad home and reveled in the attention.  It was cute :).  While having him home, though, I was still able to cook three meals a day at home (since the husband likes eating a decent sized breakfast...I'm not one of those people *laugh*) and we managed to avoid going a lot of unnecessary places, which conserved gas in my truck as we also didn't have summer school last week due to the holiday, so I was able to save (hopefully) enough gas to get me through this week as well until pay day.

9.  I started work on the quilt I want to make.  Once I'm done with my first square or so I'll give you guys an update on what my plan of attack is for it.  So far the two squares I designed have been turning out well, so yay for that!

10.  I. used an Amazon gift card I had to purchase some new sneakers for my husband and a new backpack and lunch box for my daughter (who was thrilled with the "Ever After High" lunch bag and backpack I was able to find).  I was thrilled to get my daughter a few small things that are helping to make her more excited for the coming school year as sometimes that makes all the difference in the attitude in those beginning school days (and she desperately  needed both items anyway, so I figured I might as well buy her something she'd really love to get).  I'm anxious about her starting Junior High and really want to make it as easy on her as I can, so I was thrilled to be blessed with enough money to make that a bit more possible.  Money is so tight that any amount to make it stretch is a huge blessing, so I was feeling really grateful for that this week.

And, yeah, that and more happened this week, but there are SO many pictures and things on this post I'm sure it's a virtual novel to page through by now, so I'm going to leave it there for now.  I still have a bunch of redecorating I want to get done around here, I have school supplies I have to buy coming up (that'll be interesting with how tight our budget is) on top of a ton of other things, and I am going to be in the trenches fighting bugs and I guess making my home really nice looking in the meantime as well (I even pulled down pictures and dusted them and things this week...amazing once you start detail cleaning your house constantly how things like dust REALLY start to bug you).

So, how did you all do this last week?  Well I hope?

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Frugal Friday (times 2): Money Saving Weekly Recap

First, I'd like to thank those who e-mailed me and asked if we were okay around here.  We're still alive.  Life has just been hectic around here.

First there is therapy, summer school and swimming lessons.  I have to say that I'm thrilled with how Alvah is doing this summer.  This is the first summer he's actually NOT fought going to summer school and is actually seeming to be enjoying it, which is wonderful and he's made every day with the exception of one day where he just plain wasn't feeling well (which is definitely a good thing as normally he misses at least half of the session with different issues).  He's doing awesome in swimming lessons (I keep meaning to take pictures of him, but I go into mom "oh my God be careful" mode and keep forgetting) and so is Armina.  And therapy has been kind of sporadic on what days we go in due to appointments the speech therapist has and such, but get this, she RESCHEDULES HIM!!!  It's wonderful :).  We've been able to get him in twice a week with the exception of this week where he was in once (she was out a town for a full week and just couldn't fit him in twice), but he's doing good so far.  I'm hopeful that he'll start to make real progress here.  So far, so good.

 We found out that a good friend of ours had lost their home to fire on Father's Day weekend.  They lost three of their dogs and their home is a total loss.  We felt terrible for all of them (stater of the obvious am I) and did what we could for them with what we had.  We dropped off a care package and some dinner and visited with them for a while, making sure to let them know that we would help any way we could in the coming months as they try to rebuild their lives after such a tragic event.  At least their insurance company has been really good to deal with and they have a plan to try to get some type of a home type environment built by winter, but really hammers home how things can happen in an instant and change everything.  They did have a couple small miracles occur in that somehow their printed photos survived the fire as did our friend's mementos from his days in the military.

We saw another friend of ours that I haven't seen in years this week.  He called out of the blue and told us he was coming over with pizza to repay my husband for a midnight call he did to help him out months back (he's the type that always repays his debts, so I didn't even argue or he would have showed up randomly with pizza one night *laugh*).  It was great seeing him again and funny enough I made the appointment with him to come over and then later realized it was the same day as my husband's and my anniversary.  So, we had pizza for our anniversary and a visit with a good friend.  Nice way to spend it, really :).

Oh and random side note to other locals.  I found out via e-mail a couple of days ago that our local LDS cannery in Palmer is closing permanently as the owner of the property the cannery sits on is selling everything as he's retiring and selling off the farm.  Not only does this close the door on the cannery, but also makes me wonder if the U-Pick farm is going to be closing down as well as it's the same property.  It's also the same property that the fall festival and things is held at.  So, this could very well be a REALLY depressing turn of events as we have had some good times there.  On the cannery front, the cannery instant mashed potatoes were the only ones I actually liked, so I told my husband that I'm going to be peeling potatoes from now on and having to make mashed potatoes the old fashioned way.  Less convenient, but way better tasting than the store bought potato flakes.

And right, on top of all of that I've been busy around the house, so let's get to some of that (I'm still buttoning up other projects I've been working on with my son's room, my master bedroom, my daughter's room and the den, so those pictures will be coming at some point in the near future here).

1.  Right, let's start with shopping.  Last week shopping was really sparse as we didn't have any money to spend, really, but I did pick up a full sized package of laundry packs at Carrs for cheap.  Generation Good (the Seventh Generation product testing group I mentioned in an earlier post) sent me some Free and Clear laundry packs to try and I was surprised with how well they actually did in our cold well water and I can have my daughter do laundry now as it's super easy to just tell her to throw in a packet instead of worrying about her trying to lift a heavy thing of liquid down from the shelf to fill up the little cup and pour it into the laundry.  Carrs had a package of the packs on clearance for 50% off and then I had a 2.00/1 coupon on Seventh Generation laundry items from the same Seventh Generation mission, so I bought the package for less than 8.00.  I needed laundry detergent, so that worked out well for sure (seen up top there).

I also got cheap eggs last week (.99 with a digital only coupon), cheap milk (1.99 for a gallon with a digital only coupon), cheap cheese (1.49 per 8 oz. shredded packet with digital coupon) and cheap bread (.79 with digital only coupon).  My friend even gave me her milk coupon and I was able to get two gallons of milk cheap :).

At Fred Meyer I got free juice, free bread, free Oreos and a free Knorr side from Freebie Friday items and also a Best Customer coupon (for the Oreos).  I would have taken a picture of the things, but I was rushed as that was the day we went to visit our friends and deliver dinner and such.  Basically, the juice went in with their dinner, the bread we ate (it was good bread, actually, for store bought) over the week, the Oreos lasted two days tops before the son consumed them all.

This week was the big shopping day as it was pay week.  I impressed my cashier and the guy behind me as I had to pick up EVERYTHING pretty much (I still forgot to get cat litter too) and the only thing I got that WASN'T on really good sale or personalized price was the milk.  I experimented with some milk I got on reduced cheap a few weeks back and had put three gallons worth of half gallons into the freezer to see how well it would defrost.  It worked great and no one can tell any off flavor from having been frozen, so I'm seriously starting to wonder if I might be able to go further between shopping trips by buying a few more gallons of milk and freezing them to use later in the month.  It'd be nice to only have to go shopping for produce and a few minor items through the month as needed and not worry about having to go and get milk multiple times a week.

I have to say the highlight of this week's shopping trip was getting value packs of chicken for 5.00 a piece as part of 5.00 Friday and getting two 3 lb chubs of hamburger for 50% off, so I got six pounds of hamburger for about 13.00.

2.  Downside to getting paid was that I realized that my husband's check was actually less than his old checks were.  We aren't sure why yet, as the way his pay stubs break down you can't track deductions for things like retirement and health insurance and stuff at all well, but that was REALLY upsetting.  I mean he just got a raise.  He's supposed to be making more, not less.  We're going to give it a couple of pay periods, he's going to talk to payroll and the union and see where we end up as the way the state does the pay periods gets wonky and hard to say how the hours fall, so we'll just have to see what happens.  But, yeah, life might be getting tougher instead of easier on the money front.

3.  I did a HUGE amount of cleaning and organizing the last couple of weeks.  We've been getting bugs this year inside the house.  The usual spider mite problem hasn't been a thing the last couple of years due to the rain and colder than average temps, but this year we have spruce beetles EVERYWHERE!  The baby beetles are small enough to fit through screens and get into the house through any little hole, so of course they are escaping the rain and cold outside and coming into my house.  Which ICK!!!!!!  And then we are having these black milipede looking things that just randomly show up and creep me out, and so it was time for a complete purging of anywhere bugs could hide (still working on it, but we're getting there).  Every knook and cranny has been been getting scrubbed with bleach water to kill anything that might be lurking and while I was doing that I started getting other stuff done on the organizing front.

One of the big projects was the kitchen.  I realized that my cabinets were bowing, bad, in some cases and I had to do something to stop the problem from getting worse.  So, I went through and figured out which cabinets had some support built into them and went to work.

Welcome to the new kitchen cabinets, designed in probably the craziest system possible.  The cabinets are getting organized by weight.

So, the old glasses cabinet became the baking cabinet.  I need to adjust up the top shelf so that my hand mixer can stand upright, but everything fits alright.  You can see where the shelf, especially in the middle, was bowing pretty bad.  It has a lot less weight on it now, as does the top shelf, so hopefully that will help the shelves not bow constantly.

The cabinet that used to hold my measuring cups and things for baking, which can actually take a decent amount of weight as it's got small shelf space, I used to put our most commonly used cups and glasses in.

Our corner cabinet had the sturdiest build to it as it doesn't have the cheapie adjustable shelves with the plastic tabs to hold them, but instead had actual shelves built into it.  So, the bottom shelf houses the plates and more cups around them.  The next shelf up has bowls and yet more glasses and cups around them.  And the top shelf has instant oatmeal and food items that might not be safe for Alvah, so we keep them up and out of his reach and out of sight.

This was the cabinet where I had my mixing bowls originally and had things like cereal and stuff stored.  The cereal and things went to the hallway closet (no other cabinet had shelves tall enough to work) and I moved my light weight Tupperware dishes and things into it.  The bottom shelf resembles Swiss cheese as the previous owners drilled a bunch of holes through it to hang a paper towel holder under the cabinet, and it just made the bottom shelf that less reliable.  I don't know if the picture really shows how badly the bottom shelf bows, but it really does bow pretty bad, so I'm hoping the Tupperware dishes will work better in there.

And this is the cabinet that used to house the plates and bowls and things.  The shelves were suffering from the weight (you can still see where the top shelf is bowing from the weight from some of the dishes my grandma gave to me and a couple of special occasion dishes), so I moved some Tupperware storage containers here as well as a couple of other "miscellaneous" pieces (like the ice cream bowls and the salad dressing containers) to help alleviate the weight on the shelves.

It's definitely a system that has taken some getting used to, but we're starting to figure it out.

I also cleaned the screens this week as with the cottonwood pollen they needed it and I took down all of my pots and pans and cleaned my pot rack thoroughly.  I had some lids from old pans on top of the pot rack, so after thoroughly cleaning those, I put them into better storage where they won't get a bunch of grease settling onto them like they did when they sat on top of the pot rack.

Oh, and in case some are wondering where we got a pot rack like this one.  That's actually a remnant of cable tray (it's used in commercial electrical work and you hang it to literally lay data cables and things on the track to keep them tidy in ceilings and things) that my husband saved from the dumpster one day along with a few other small pieces that he ended up using as shelving.  I realized that it would make a good pot rack, so I stole a piece and had him hang it for me.  Some "s" hooks from the hardware store and we were in business :).  It works great and fit perfectly in the space.

I did find when cleaning it that since the metal was kind of rough in places that it was hard to actually get all of the dust and old grease off of it (I have no actual working hood in my kitchen...the hood butts up against the bottom of a cabinet and doesn't do anything for getting stuff OUT of the kitchen), but when I finally got it done it looked good and I was happy with it.  And really for a pot rack that cost me like 6.00 in "s" hooks and other small parts to secure the thing...I am not complaining about any little hiccups cleaning it *laugh*.

4.  The son has been destroying DVD's of late.  He goes through phases and this is one I was hoping wouldn't come back.  He waits till your back is turned doing something and than will stick a DVD into his mouth because he likes the sensation and just destroys the DVD with his teeth marks.  My husband and I decided it is time to pull some containers from storage and to just start boxing up movies and accessing them through the containers as we need them to try and minimize the damage as we both know there is no way we can afford to start replacing movies left and right.  The one that got to me the most this week was him destroying my "Family Fun Edition" of "The Secret of NIMH".  That's one of my favorite movies and it really bugged me that it was gone.  I bought the son a digital version of said movie for his I-Pad (he loves the movie too, so I didn't want him to be without it) and I will pick up a replacement copy of said movie for myself soon (luckily it's a cheap movie to replace).

5.  So, being broke is probably the worst possible time to want to start redoing your home decor, but I am determined to try and get some things to just make things look nicer and more finished around the house.  I've had the same home decor items for YEARS and they are looking tired in some cases.  So, I sat down and made a list on top of a few items I actually need.  So far I'm not having any luck finding a new strainer/colander (I can't believe how rare those are to find at the used one I found at a used store a while back I think was for home decor type of use only as the handles are falling off and it's actually rusting, which shouldn't be happening with stainless steel) or a copper bowl (to whip eggs easier...I've wanted one for years...still no luck finding one, but hey, I'll keep looking), but I DID find a few things on my list the last couple of weeks!  I found a nice silverware holder for 1.00 (it had gotten stained by a blue marker or something leaking on it, so it was cheap).  It took a good day of cleaning and running it under a lot of water to remove the blue dye from it, but it cleaned up nicely and now I have a nice looking silverware holder :).  My old system was a basket I had found with mason jars stuffed into it which worked OKAY, but was hard for the daughter to see what silverware she needed to grab to set the table.  It's a lot easier now and it looks a lot nicer.

I also found a kitchen clock for 1.50 (not seen as I haven't taken a picture of it yet) that my husband and I are going to work on repainting to look more vintage, but that was another item off of my list. 

We also bought my daughter a bunch of clothes this week as she's grown about two sizes so far this summer.  Definitely a needed development on her part as she was the smallest kid in her class, I think, but not the cheapest thing to field.  We spent 30.00 on clothes for her, but I comforted myself knowing that we got her about five different outfits with that money (including a nice looking dress shirt to wear over her beloved leggings), where if we had gone to the box stores we wouldn't have been able to get half of that.

6.  Back to the house and organizing.  I redid the layout of my living room the last couple of weeks to accommodate shampooing the carpet, for one, and to give more people good views of the TV.

The kids love the new position of the love seat, I like the position of the rocking chair for the days where my back is hurting me and everyone can see the TV well and now we can run the remotes easier as the furniture is lined up with the TV and DVD player a lot better.  I still have more shampooing of carpets to do, but I'm getting there slowly but surely.

7.  We dropped off donations to the used stores the last few weeks, which was nice to be able to reclaim space and get some clutter out of the house.

8.  I used up things in the freezer that needed to be used and incorporated them into the meal plan this week.  We had a sheet pan dinner with kielbasa, brussel sprouts, green beans and a couple other different types of vegetables that needed to be used from the freezer one night and tonight we had Cornish pasties with cherry napoleons for dessert (basically some puff pastry I needed to use from the depth of the freezer that I baked in small rectangles and then carefully cut in half when done and filled it with a mixture of whipped topping combined with thickened vanilla pudding and then some cherry pie filling for the final layer in the middle.  Sprinkled some powdered sugar on top and voila!  Fancy dessert and really yummy!).

9.  I started hitting Pinterest for some ideas on what to make for Fourth of July decorations to add to what we already had around the house.  I have some ideas, so we'll see how it goes making them in the coming days :).

And yeah...there's other projects that aren't quite done yet, but I can safely say that I think there isn't a room in the house that hasn't been worked on the last couple of weeks.  How about you?  How have you all been?

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Frugal Friday: Money Saving Weekly Recap

I almost didn't do this post and just went for a two week recap this Friday, but have been wanting to get this post done for days, so I knew by the end of the week the lack of posting would drive me nuts *laugh*.

The last week has been crazy busy.  My life has revolved around the kids schedules the last little bit between swimming lessons, violin lessons (while Alvah is at therapy one day every two weeks my sister-in-law is being nice enough to teach Armina the basics of violin so she has a step up when orchestra starts in the fall.  So far, Armina is doing awesome), therapy and summer school.  While home I've been burning the candle at both ends and then snapping the candle in half to get a couple of more ends in play so I can get cleaning and organizing done around the house as well as all the stuff that normally has to be done (dishes, laundry, me running around constantly with a vacuum cleaner).  I've honestly lost track of days a couple of times (thank goodness for cell phone alarms to remind me).

So, yeah, since it's nearly midnight and then I'd be posting this sucker on Wednesday (ouch) let's get to the money saving things, minimal though they are, that happened last week.

1.  We were blessed with enough money to fix the truck, so I'm mobile again (yay!).  My husband called around, got the best deal on an alternator he could find and installed it himself, which definitely saved us money.  I'm so grateful that my husband has been able to fix so much that has broken around here.  I sincerely doubt we would have had the money to hire someone else to fix things, so having a man with skills is worth its weight in gold!

2.  Shopping was decently big due to going pretty much two weeks in between shopping trips (at least major ones) this summer.  I've had to raise my grocery budget, despite not really being able to afford to do so, just because the kids are BLOWING through food of late and with Alvah's diet...well blowing through that type of food costs a small fortune unfortunately.  I did get him to smell a strawberry the other night, which impressed me as that was the first time he'd EVER shown interest in strawberries before, and I got him to lick a crinkle cut french fry (NOT his chosen shape, so him licking it was a huge deal for him).  Progress is slow, and small, but very much appreciated around here :).

Highlights of the shopping trip would definitely have to be cheap fish!  Carrs was having a big seafood sale last week, so I stopped off to see what was on sale other than king crab legs and lobster tails (the two things they focused on in their ad, of course).  I found that they had some of my favorite frozen fish on sale (the pollock is a great bargain there) and that they had other kinds all on sale for about 3.00 per bag (or 3.00 per lb really).  I grabbed three bags.  The pollock I used to make fish and chips for Father's Day (the husband enjoyed it :) and the other two I put in the freezer for cheap meals later on.

I also found that they had Langer's frozen juice concentrate on sale for 1.25 per container, which was CHEAP (that stuff normally runs at over 3.00 per container and if you are lucky it goes on sale for about 2.50).  I grabbed some of that to drink with breakfast around here and also grabbed some pink lemonade mix (I had a personalized price of 1.25 per container of that brand last week).  A shot of the fish and juice concentrates can be seen above there.

3.  I got my coupon in the mail for a free 8 pack of Arrowhead sparkling water, so I redeemed that this week (seen up top).  My daughter doesn't like it because it's too "weak tasting" so I've been throwing in an envelope of Crystal Light grape flavor into the ones she's drinking...not what I was hoping for, but it's getting drank that way.  I've been drinking them without anything added to them.  I don't think the water is bad.  Overpriced for what you get (at nearly 7.00 per 8 pack normally), but not bad.

4.  I got a bunch of free magazine subscriptions in this week.  Getting a free subscription to "Taste of Home" a while back still counts as one of my favorite subscriptions ever.  I get all excited when it comes in the mail *laugh*.

5.   I got to give my daughter something totally free, but priceless this summer.  My time.  When you have a special needs child, any parent will tell you that time becomes way more than a priceless commodity.  Since my husband works the grave shift, my daughter and I sit on my bed and watch the smart TV in my bedroom, after my husband leaves for work and my son is fast asleep, for a little bit.  It has led to some really nice conversations and just some one on one time with her, which is priceless to me and I'm sure to her as well.  And it's fun for my daughter because she gets to pick the programming.

6.  I utilized Pinterest a lot the last little bit to find new recipes and things to try.   It really does help to get me inspired on the menu plan when I have a BASIC idea of what I need to use up (like, say, chicken), but am not sure what to make.

7.  I went through my freezers, figured out what things I needed to use up, and worked out menus accordingly.   It feels good to use things up and not waste anything.

8.  I realized that my husband wasn't going to have time to change out the brush on my vacuum cleaner, so I sat down with my non-mechanically inclined self, and figured it out.  I got the brush changed out and the vacuum works a LOT better now.  Woohoo!

9.  I deep cleaned a bunch of stuff this week and while doing so looked at the curtains in my bedroom and realized that they are so old (they look like they came out of some 80's hotel...I wish I was kidding) that they are developing holes in them.  I made the kids new curtains for their rooms when their curtains got that bad, so I added a goal to my list of looking through my fabric and things and seeing if there is anything I have that I can make curtains out of.  The windows in my house are all odd sizes, so buying curtains would cost a fortune, so making new curtains is the only way forward I can see at this point.  We'll see what I come up with.  I might have to look at the used stores for material here as I'm not sure I have any fabric big enough, but I'll have to see what I can find.

And, yeah, everything I'm doing around here organizing-wise is kind of in transition at the moment, but I'll share more as I get where I can call my multiple projects "done" or "nearly done".

How did you do last week?  Well I hope?

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Monthly Goals: June 2018

Wow!  This post took forever to get done!  Namely because my computer went completely bonkers again and I just spent last night and this morning (and into this afternoon) restoring the computer to an earlier time, running scan disk, running disk defrag and all kinds of other wonderful programs to TRY and get this sucker working right and I still had to reinstall my internet browser to get it to even load.  Ugh.  Just ugh!  My husband is going to look at the laptop tonight once he gets up and see if there is a way to upgrade the RAM on the computer or not to see if that helps, but my frustration level is right below Kermit the Frog before he'd go berserk and start screaming incoherently right about now *laugh*.

Blogging, though, even before the computer (insert nasty mumbled adjectives to describe said computer under breath) decided to crap out on me again, I was already behind just because last week was so hectic.  Summer school started, we had a day where we had speech rearranged on us (and it's looking like the next couple of weeks are going to be like that too) as Alvah's new speech therapist is opening clinics left and right and the latest is actually out of state, so she has to fly down a lot to check on how the therapists are doing in their new home.  So, in one day, we had speech therapy, home for about 15 minutes, went shopping, rushed back home and grabbed Alvah's back pack, went and dropped him off at summer school, ran to go get his swimming bag from home and finish up shopping (I had to get some more yeast at our local Eastern European Market as they carry the SAF yeast I love to use) and then we ran back to the school, picked Alvah up early and ran him to swimming.  By the time we all got home, we were wiped.  Last week pretty much went down like that.  My husband took a four day weekend last week so he could spend some time with the family and we had fun doing stuff together.  Alvah did great adjusting to summer school, therapy and swimming going on at the same time.  Armina worked on getting her room cleaned up and I worked on tons of other things in the time I had available.

Which, actually, ties in pretty well to transition this post, so let's get to this month's goals (since all posts are behind right now I'm AIMING to do this one right now and do the frugal recap for the week tomorrow or tonight, depending, so no I haven't forgotten it :).

Normally, I'd have some garden goals included in this post for the month, but unfortunately, the garden just isn't going to happen this year.  This sucks as the garden normally provides us with greens and lettuce, if nothing else, throughout the summer months and in the case of greens, I normally have some of those to put up for winter.  But, it just was not to be this year, unfortunately.

I have tried everything and nothing has worked.  I have moose tramping through the garden MULTIPLE times a day at the moment by all of the tracks everywhere with more popping up all of the time.  I planted sprouting potatoes the other day only to have a vole or other animal (I have no idea what, honestly) dig up said potatoes and eat them (that was a first for me).  I finally, despite a sense of foreboding, checked on the raspberry plants around the yard only to find that the (insert really nasty curse words) moose had struck again and had eaten every single plant off at the snow line over the winter.  How those suckers will leave EVERY SINGLE rose bush and other plant, but go for the raspberry bushes is amazing to me.  So, I am definitely not getting any raspberries out of my yard this year, unfortunately.  The roses are blooming, although not as many as I'm used to seeing by this time in the year (it's still pretty wet and cold).  I've still got plenty of rose hip jelly in the pantry, it turns out, when I went digging, so at least THAT was a relief as making jelly isn't a core need this year.  I'm glad I still have some raspberry jam and jelly left, as well, as I'm not sure how my mother-in-law's raspberries are going to do this year either.  With how wet and cold it is, I'm wondering if the raspberries are just going to have one of those years where they rot on the plant before they ripen.  It's been known to happen.

So, yeah, giving up on the garden was AWFUL, and hard, but there comes a point where it just isn't going to work and when you have a family of moose tramping around the garden looking for cabbages or other goodies since you had them last either have to put up a 12' fence (so not in the budget, not to mention where in the heck would I put it since the garden beds are right up against asphalt?) or you just need to say, "This ain't going to happen" and get yourself a greenhouse...also not in the budget unfortunately.  The husband is going to try hard to get me a greenhouse designed and get it put in by next year, but we shall see how it goes.

Anyway, let's get to less depressing matters.  As goals go, I did manage to get the love seat done last month (finally!) and I got one skirt made for the daughter (yay!), but I still have a list about a mile long of things I want to get done this summer before the inevitable rush of school and things takes over, so I'm going to list things I'd like to get done in the next couple of weeks and pray I can get even 1/16 of them done.  Wish me luck!

Cleaning and Organizing Goals:

  • Continue to reorganize pantry.  Consolidate like items together.  Make list of things that need to be used (I found a few things when I was organizing my home canned progress seen up top there...Prince totally photo bombed no matter how many times I took the picture, so I just finally admitted defeat there) and try to make a more in-depth inventory list for the pantry.  Make list of needed items to get over the coming months.
  • Organize Master Bedroom Closet.  My husband kind of wants me to put this off, but I'm going to do it anyway.  I'm so tired of looking in there and just seeing mess everywhere.  I might only be able to use what I have on hand, but by God I know I can improve it if nothing else.
  • Organize hallway closet (I want to organize it better so it makes more sense and will hopefully house things like paper towels and things I need.  I figure the best way forward is just going to be gutting it and starting over again.  Once again, I'm pretty sure I can at LEAST improve it if nothing else).
  • Deep clean bathrooms and fill in silicone where grout is going on some of the tiles.  
  • DAP around sinks and bathtubs
  • Shampoo stairs 
  • Take old mattress off of race car bed, reorganize son's room and figure out better way of doing things.
  • Take every single thing out of kitchen cabinetsFix lazy susan shelf with JB Weld (you have to completely rip the entire shelf out to get it fixed, so wish me and my not-mechanically inclined self luck here!) and then reorganize kitchen better (I am DETERMINED to make it work better than it is now as I have bowing shelves, things in areas that don't make sense, things falling out of cabinets...I'm done with that mess).

General Goals:

  • Find lowly can of seltzer water by tonight so I can make fish and chips for Father's Day dinner (I KNOW I put it somewhere safe in the hallway closet!).  
  • Work on daughter's skirts (I should put sewing in it's own category, but then the one lowly general goal I have will be lonely ;).
  • Work on mending. 
  • Work on quilt.
  • Work on the saving money blogging series (this will get done if my computer doesn't go into meltdown so often here).
And there you go folks.  My "you're going to be so sore doing this stuff, so what the Heck are you thinking???" list of things I want to get done here.  How about you?  Working on anything this month?