Friday, October 28, 2016

Frugal Friday: Money Saving Weekly Recap

It has been a Hell of a week at sea, sir!!!

It all started Sunday night.  My son took the antibiotics as well as I thought he would (read:  He fought me tooth and nail) and the worst bit was that he realized how terribly open and sore his hands were the more tired he got, so we finally broke down and tried a couple of different methods to wrap his hands for the night, finally settling on lots of Neosporin and Band-Aids.  The son was not happy about his lot in life and was overly tired and into sensory overload.  He screamed from 9 pm to 6 am.  Yes.  Nine straight hours.  By this point I'd been up for nearly 72 hours straight and I have to admit more than a few tears were shed on my part throughout the night, part in wanting to help my poor little baby and part of me just wanting him to be quiet so we could all get some sleep.

By the time he crashed at 6:30 (after I'd removed all but one of the band-aids on his worst finger and gone through nearly every movie in the house until we found one he would settle down to), there was no way we were going to be making it to school on time.  My husband had been able to get some sleep during the night somehow, which was good because he was able to get up and go to work.  I called the teachers and just told my daughter's teacher's voice mail that she was going to be late and I told my son's teacher (who was blessedly in at 7 am) that he wasn't going to be in school all week (they only had a three day week this week due to parent teacher conferences) so I could keep his wounds clean and give him some time to heal a bit.  My daughter was able to crash at about five or so and had gotten a few hours of sleep before the son started screaming the entire house apart, so she woke up at about ten bright eyed and bushy tailed.  By the time I dragged myself out of bed both kids were up and hungry, so I got them something to eat and took my daughter to school at about eleven.

Luckily we made it through the rest of the day alright and I thanked the good Lord above that I'd made beef roast for dinner on Sunday as we just had beef roast sandwiches and popcorn for dinner Monday night.

The son actually slept Monday night, thank the Lord above and I was able to get about seven hours of sporadic sleep as my son had really beat on my bad arm the previous night as I had to keep reapplying band-aids to him so it was hard to get comfortable.

We got my daughter to school on time and I was hoping that the rest of the week would go blessedly well.  No such luck.

I was exhausted still and I finally couldn't keep my eyes open any longer.  My son was sitting on my legs watching TV so I knew I could doze and I'd wake up as soon as he did, so I took a quick nap.  No joke, I was out for maybe ten minutes before my son getting up woke me up.  In those ten minutes somehow my body just turned on me full force.

I woke up with my tonsils swollen about three times their normal size, barely able to swallow and I had a fever.  To say I felt awful doesn't even begin to touch the tip of the "how I felt" iceberg.  I called my husband and begged him to come home as I wasn't sure how I was going to be able to handle getting my daughter or take care of my son when I could barely stand up.  My husband managed to figure out how to pick up my daughter from school and I managed to put on frozen pizzas for dinner (thank goodness I had those in the freezer).  My husband and daughter even cleaned the house to a point while I was lying down.  I didn't eat much and just kept popping Ibuprofen every four hours or I'd start to really go down hill again.

When I woke up Wednesday my left tonsil was down but my right one was a real mess.  It felt like a giant burning golf ball stuck in the side of my throat.  When my husband insisted I go to the doctor, I didn't fight him.  I was figuring they'd tell me I had a virus, although a part of me was a bit worried I was going to hear "tonsillitis" for the first time in my life and was scared to death I'd have to get my tonsils out as we REALLY couldn't afford that (either in money or in down time with me).  Instead the nurse looked down my throat, said some sympathetic things seeing how nasty my tonsils looked and took a swab of my throat.

Turns out I have strep.  I haven't had strep since I was in elementary school.

So I've been on Penicillin the last couple of days and eating a lot of soup, primarily store bought as my husband is willing to pick it up for me.  I have come to realize the last couple of days that one of the things I need to get for the pantry is canned soup and more than just cooking soup to have for things like this.  I don't even want to KNOW how much the soup is costing as I'm sure it's more than an entire big pot of soup would cost for me to make myself.  But I just plain haven't been up to making it :(.

I've felt so bad I've been limiting myself to about one chore a day, which usually revolves around unloading and reloading the dishwasher or doing a load of laundry and calling it good until I feel like I'm a human being again.  I've been drinking a lot of tea and coffee to stop myself from coughing (my tonsils being so swollen is causing that wonderful side effect).  I get up, water and feed the chickens, get the kids things to eat when they need it and such and past that I've spent a lot of time sitting on my butt or lying down on the love seat either watching TV or looking up stuff on Pinterest and avoiding doing too much or I really feel it.

I went to the bank and then shopping with the kids today and that just wiped me completely out, especially when I made the mistake of NOT getting my son french fries before we went shopping and thought, logically enough, that I could get him french fries afterwards.  That led to a miserable shopping trip with me having to tell people that my son is autistic to the point I felt like a parrot squawking for a cracker (I know he still wasn't feeling great when we went, but we were out of so much not going wasn't an option, so I kind of knew it was going to be one of "those" trips with him.  Like any kid throwing a tantrum, it's not fun and with a kid who can't communicate on the normal level and doesn't process "stop it" well when upset?  Doubly so).  I was really happy that I've memorized how the stores are laid out by isle, so we were able to make super awesome time through the store to get through my list for the sake of other shoppers and my kids (I always feel terrible having to go power through a trip and potentially make others miserable in the process).

Thankfully, everyone but my cashier was nice about my son stomping and shrieking at random at me and actually got a kick out of it when my son, in mid tantrum, saw some Halloween themed garland and got all excited by it.  I had the cashier scan it and handed it to him, relieved that he found something to stim on and make himself happy, and he just waved it at people like it was the most awesome thing in the world, laughing and squeeling.  Everyone around us ended up smiling at his joy.  If there is one thing my little man can be it is charming when he is happy.

Luckily, even as scattered as I was I was able to get everything on my list (spent 50.00 more than I wanted to stock up on some things like wet wipes since we were out and I always buy them in bulk, etc) and what was the one thing I forgot in all the hub bub?  Yup.  Canned soup.  Sigh.  Hopefully I'm feeling better by Monday so I can at least go and get some of that and a bag of candy in case we get trick or treaters (I forgot what day it was until my daughter started going on all excited about dressing up on Monday at school).

But, yeah, it's been a week.

I did, actually, manage to get a few things accomplished on the frugal front this week, believe it or not.

1.  I ordered a new scratching post for my cat.  Not really something I was looking to get for the next little bit, but I (for the first time in my life I think) have a cat that actually USES the scratching posts that most cats turn their nose up at.  You know, the ones with rope and carpet on them?  Unfortunately, not only does she like them my cat LOVES them and decimates them.  And if you don't replace them when she wrecks them?  She turns on everything else in the house.

I'd been wanting to get her a new post for a while since the last one I bought didn't last long at all and ended up being super crappy quality, but after checking all of the local stores I found nada, except the same darned post that was sitting in a wrecked heap on my stairwell and they wanted 25.00 for that now.  It finally hit me to look on Amazon for one and I was able to find one for about 8.00 less than the crappy one and one that all the reviews said was good quality.  So hopefully that will come in sometime soon as I'm tired of screaming at my cat to stop scratching on my stairs.  I'm about to pull out the Super Soaker on her.

2.  I flipped the switch on our ceiling fans to reverse the air flow.  If you do this in winter the fans will start to circulate the warm air back down into the room, theoretically saving you money.  Since my son insists on turning his fan on no matter the time of year it is, this sure can't hurt.

3.  I, obviously, stayed home this week and didn't spend money on impulse buys.  Actually I didn't spend any money on impulse buys at the store today either as I was repeating the mantra, "Get in.  Get list.  Get out."  I checked the coupons and things before I went to the store today, though and found that some things I'd been wanting to get were on sale cheap and I had coupons to stack with them.  I was able to get Special K Cereals (part of my diet I'm on as I find the protein ones keep me full without upsetting my stomach like eating too much granola or something will) for cheap and big cartons of Goldfish crackers for 5.00 a piece on the 5.00 Friday sales (this is like 1/2 price compared to normal now a days).  I bought four boxes of Special K and got 4 cartons of Goldfish as well.  It felt good to add those to the pantry as the Special K will last me several weeks for lunches and breakfasts and the Goldfish will last...well the way my son eats them probably about two weeks, but it sure beats having to buy them at 9.99 a carton!

I also found that I had some freebie coupons waiting for me online this morning.  One was for a free bag of Doritos and another was for a free tube of toothpaste (seen up top).  I didn't get to Fred Meyer to get my freebies yet, so hopefully I'll be able to do that on Monday as well as I'd like to get the Hershey bar freebie if nothing else.

4.  I got the results of my blood work back from the health fair the day before I ended up having to go to the doctors so I was sure to bring those results with me and give them to her.  This will save me an entire trip to the doctor as normally there is a "follow up" visit when you talk about your lab work and any concerns you might have but now I can combine it all together in one trip.  That'll save me a lot of money doing it this way.

By the way, I was surprised with the results.  It showed I was .1% into the "pre-diabetic" danger zone for my "current in the blood sugar levels", which my doctor looked at my long term glucose projection and said I was either hypoglycemic (which I've heard from doctors before) or it was within the margin or error in her opinion as my glucose levels were perfect (at least that's what I was getting out of it if she explained it to me right).  I do try to be careful no matter what though as my sugar has always been funky like that and it bugs me.

The other thing I found out was that I have high cholesterol.  I was utterly baffled.  Really.  I watch my diet carefully and have for YEARS and do everything you are supposed to take care of your heart as I lost my dad to heart failure and he always had heart problems before that, so I've always taken my health pretty seriously in that area.  I called my mom and she heard what my cholesterol was and just said, "Hon, in our family you don't worry until you're about twice that.  High cholesterol just runs in the family.  It's the way it is."  My doctor actually agreed when she looked at my weight, asked me some questions about my diet and lifestyle and checked my vitals and everything (which, by the way, my blood pressure was 113/63 Ms. "You're in pre-hypertension so I'm going to make your arm go numb" Jerk from the Health Fair) and said we'd talk more when I go in for my physical next week.  So we'll see what she says.  Either way, I'm glad I know this now so I know to watch it and make sure it doesn't get any higher and that doing what I've been doing for years was a really smart move on my part.

And I'm also like really low on Vitamin D, so I'm probably going to be ending up on some big amounts of Vitamin D.  I pray getting those levels up will give me more energy as I need all the help I can get most days.

5.  My husband changed out the tires on his truck and put on his snow tires.  Doing it himself saved us having to wait in line at the tire place and paying the tire change over fee, so that was nice.

6.  At least by getting strep vs. another type of bacterial infection my medication was cheap since I'm on good old fashioned Penicillin which was only about 5.00 for the script.  Every cloud has a silver lining right?

7.  I was getting impatient to get an updated bill from the sleep center, so I called their billing department and blessedly got a hold of one of the gals who was actually nice the one time I talked to her so I played nice and just asked for a balance, made sure my payment had been applied to the account and that I would be getting an updated bill sometime soon.  Found out that the bill, after comparing the EOB's from the insurance company (that the nice lady at MODA told me how to access online) and everything was up to over 5,000.00 by the time I called shenanigans on the sleep center.  So, after everything got refunded and reversed out we're looking at 1200.00 left on the bill.  It still annoys me that we owe them anything, honestly, but I'm just glad I was able to get the bill down to where I did.  I'm just trying to look at the bright side and move on at this point.  At least it'll be paid off within a year even if I am making the minimum payment we agreed on.

And there you are folks.  My week in a nutshell.  How did your week go?  I pray better than mine!


  1. Wow, I really hope you start feeling better!!! I know early spring, I caught something and stupidly, was so concerned about my kids having it, and taking them to the doctor I didn't even THINK about taking myself, or even anything OTC, and ended up being so bad that it's a miracle I didn't end up in the hospital since it turned so bad. This yea rI vow to do better. So I'm sl glad you went! I hope your kiddo feels better soon.

    This week, I had killer grocery deals, I went in only for a few things because I was going to use a coupon at another store, when I saw all of the fancy from italy stuff Kroger had was on an endcap, marked from $5-7 down to 50 cents each!!! I got fancy spaghetti sauces (grownup flavors, then the kids can have the plain that they prefer), pestos, (I left the antipastas, had no idea what to do with those) 3 jars of sun dried tomaotos, and I bought a bunch of pastas, and some of the dipping spices they had. I'm going to put together some baskets for my sons teachers for Christmas, so I'm thrilled. I ende dup not going ot the other store, because I used up my money there, but that's ok.

    My youngest has FINALLY started to take notice of other foods. He asked for dinosaur chicken nuggets because a kid at PreK had them, on the one day of the week he eats there. So, I quickly bought, and he likes. Hes also back into the Chef Boyrde mac and cheese cups. I hate the price, but for a few months now, he's been VERY limited on what he will eat, so I don't care!! I just wish he would try a banana though. Or raisins. He will eat applesauce, but only the gogosqueez brand, and only the strawberry one. Expensive!! But its fruit. Hes so darn picky! My oldest wasn't at all.

    I just found out like 20 minuites ago, a comic book store nearby is doing free halloween comics day, one free each, then with canned food donations, another for each food ite,. I raised the pantry, and got a mix of granola bars, canned veg and brownie/cake mixes, 10 items total. That should make the kids happy, then I will buy something inexpensive there too, or else I feel a little guilty.

    Tomorrow is also our churchs halloween party. I LUCKED out at the grocery outlet. I got 20 count bags of btand named animal crackers and short bread cookies in hallowen shapes, for $1!!! I bought a ton of bags, plus at the house I will have the gluten/nut free pile for kids, and fruit snacks and skittles, swedish fish and sour patch kids. I don't do chocolate anymore since so many others do, and I want to have stuff thats mostly allergy free. So we will pass out to about 150 tomorrow, about 250 monday, but I managed to get good deals, so I am happy. I also used a lot of those cookies instead of taking time to bake because I am so stressed this month, for my sons birthday treat. Paired them with cute halloween penvils with huge toppers my mom gave me a ton of.

    We have had a surprise of a few more warm days coming up! Halloween will be cold, but we will be able to hold off on the main heater another week it seems, so I am overjoyed.

    I am so exhausted though. So much to do, all of the time. And I end up having ot do most of it on my own. I just can't keep up, and as of late, I've been feeling a little discouraged because I have so much to do. I really hope I can snap out of it. I don't want to miss out on my favorite time of year because I'm overwhelmed. Its just a shame, I can't cut out anymore than I already have!!

    Fingers crossed no one else gets the strep! At least if someone gets sick, you'll know what it is, and can prob head it off at the pass!!

  2. Wow, what a rough week! I hope you feel better soon! I love that you looked for the silver lining in having strep -- only $5 for the meds. Now that's a positive outlook!

    My week was ok. Got some (potential) good news on the financial front, so hopefully that will come to pass. My best deal in stores was probably getting 5 lbs of rutabagas for $1.97. I was pleased! Oddly enough, the DH has never tasted them, so he'll get plenty of opportunity to eat them. Tee hee! Plus, I got a free lunch at work a few times, which always makes me happy. :)

  3. I am sorry that you are going through all of this right now! Good things have to be right around the corner for you and your family. I will be praying for you, you are a tough person!

  4. I know someone who is trained to do respite care for families who need a break from their children who have issues such as your son has. I think this is a free service provided by the state. Is such a thing available to you? You certainly sound like you need a break.

    1. Erika,
      I tried to leave this comment earlier, and I don't think it posted. If so, feel free to delete the extra one.

      I do DD service work for my nephew and niece (only one at a time) as a Personal Support Worker. This is accessed through DD services here in Oregon. Your son should qualify for this, as he is more impacted from his autism than my niece.

      Anyway, they set a number of hours that the child qualifies for. What I do is help the child in any way AND help the parent with chores that help the client. There are goals that are set and I write down how I helped with those when I bill for the services.

      Some examples include: Goal: work on social interaction Worked On: Took him to the YMCA pool where he swam, interacted appropriately with the kids in pool, helped with street crossing safety, etc., Or: took him to McD's where he played with another kid on the equipment.
      Goal: Work on self-care skills (various ones at different times) Worked on: Had him pick up 8 things while I helped put away the rest of his laundry. Had him place dirty laundry from floor into hamper. I washed the laundry.
      Anyway, it's worth checking in to. It would be a tremendous help to you.

      Anyway, you get the idea. Your son's goals would be for his needs. There are lots of hours where my nephew just plays with his Legos as well. Sometimes, I play too, but sometimes I do dishes or other things that help out. I am very comfortable in my sister's house. I was thinking that if I was at the house of a different client, a stranger, I would have to have really clear directions. Even with my own sister, it took over a day for her to show me exactly how my nephew wanted things, and I already knew him pretty well. So, you'd have to be involved at first.

    2. When it comes to respite care, it's hard up here, terribly so to get some. First you have to get DDS eligibility (disability eligibility) through the state and they have to ok that. Then you get put on a waiting list...a long qualify for any type of services. This includes respite, grants for therapy equipment, behavioral help, etc. I had DDS eligibility and was on the waiting list for two years without hearing anything until our eligibility lapsed and was gone. Now it's darned near impossible to get on the DDS approval list as we went from 2000 people getting approved per year to 50. So the waiting list just went through the roof the last couple of years. I, at some point, will probably go in and reapply for the DDS eligibility just so that we're on the waiting list in case my son needs a higher level of care when he's of legal age than I can provide, but past that...there's no point.

  5. Goodness, what a week Erika! Well, I'd say you probably handled it much better than I would. I don't do well at all without sleep. I've also had strep throat and know first hand how extremely sore and physically draining it is. I hope you feel better soon (though anything would probably feel better at this point).

    I canned 2 pints and 5 half pints of apple syrup this week from the boiled and strained apple peeling/core liquids I made the previous Sunday. I was again trying for apple jelly, but it just wouldn't set, no matter how long I boiled it. My conclusion is that either the type of apples I used (MacIntosh) didn't have as much pectin or the amount of sugar I was using wasn't enough to get it to set (1 1/2 cups sugar to 4 cups apple liquid). Oh well, it still tastes amazing as apple syrup and I'm learning by experience!

    I found a bag of marked down bananas for $0.30/lb this week. So I made a batch of chocolate chip banana bran muffins to snack on and to take in lunches. The bran I used was given to be for free earlier in the fall. I also made the most delicious homemade cream of chicken and vegetable soup with homemade bread. I veggies I used were potatoes, carrots, and green/waxed beans, all of which are cheap to buy. I also used some of the free corn I received in late summer and frozen chicken stock I made a while ago from chicken bones and leftover veggies scraps, so that was essentially free as well. It's so rewarding when I can make cheap, healthy food that my family truly enjoys!

    I've learned a new trick this year to convince my daughter to take soup (especially left over soup) in her school lunch. In order to take soup, I have to heat up a kettle of water and pour it into the insulated soup thermos to heat it up. With the remaining hot water, I make up an insulated travel mug of hot chocolate for her to take as well (she drinks it in the AM on the way to school). She says the hot chocolate is what makes taking soup in her lunch the best! I will count this as a win.

    In conclusion, I guess I can say my best frugal accomplishments this week evolved around feeding my family from food scraps and free food. So glad they don't read this!LOL Hope you have a better week this week, Erika! Some sleep and a healthy dose of $5 antibiotics should help.*smile & 2 thumbs up*

    1. Thank you for the idea of sending hot soup in your daughter's lunch. I am sending my college age son lunches because it is just too expensive to eat there. However, there are no microwaves anywhere close to where his classes are so I have been sending him sandwiches. Last week I forgot and sent him a hamburger. "Mom", he said. "It just tasted gross cold and I could not eat it."
      I have seen soup thermoses at Goodwill and will pick one up for him. As the weather is getting colder and he is going inside and outside all day, I want to send him something warm. I will look for one this week.

    2. Jeanie, I highly recommend investing in a really good metal one if you can. They are durable, last forever and keep food nice an hot for a long time. The trick really is to heat up the container with boiling hot water first and to make sure the food you put in is good and hot too (bring soup or other food items to a boil on the stove top not microwave). You could also send things like pasta dishes, chili, sloppy joes (send bun in a separate container), hotdogs or leftover casseroles. Totally worth the investment!

  6. Erica,
    Remember to throw away your toothbrush. You don't want to take any chances.

    1. Thank you for that! I immediately, after reading this, went and threw away my toothbrush. I would have spaced doing that without the reminder, so thank you again! You might very well have saved me from reinfecting myself.

  7. What a week, Erika! I hope you're feeling better, and that your son is also on the mend!

  8. The renowned throat surgeon who helped my throat issues back in my young days :) recommended two things: he told me to use liquid tylenol the first few days for the post surgery pain in the throat (the liquid coats it) and he recommended yogurt because it contains good bacteria to replace the good that is gone and help fight off the bad (the antibiotics don't know the difference so good & bad both get killed off--this was in the mid 70's when yogurt wasn't in the supermarkets so you found a health food store or made your own). The above recommendation to throw away your toothbrush is an excellent precaution.
    I hope you feel better soon. You do an amazing job taking care of everyone and everything and dealing with all the stress in your life.

    1. I always seem to have to eat yogurt when I'm on antibiotics just because my stomach doesn't like them much. I appreciate the liquid Tylenol thing, though. I have had a stuffy head to go with the strep, so I actually invested in liquid NyQuil to help me sleep at night and get rid of the post nasal drip. I forgot how truly horrid liquid NyQuil tastes, but it really did coat my throat and help to kill the pain so I could sleep better. Thank you :).

  9. Erika, I really feel for you. I hope this coming week is a much better week for all of you.
    I know you are probably so tired of dealing with insurance companies at this point but may I suggest calling your health insurance company or a local/state agency and see if you are covered to receive respite care? I worked for a local government agency and this service was at times provided at no cost to qualified families and the caregivers that provided the services were contracted and trained by the state. It's just a thought, maybe worth trying to give you a little breather now and then.
    I admire your perseverance and the way you still find joy in the positive happenings that come your way. You are a really good mom and wife, Erika!
    Lots of hugs and prayers being sent your way!

    1. Our insurance doesn't cover much of anything I've found when it comes to things like respite. My son could get respite through the state, if I could get him approved for DDS eligibility (disability eligibility) through the state, but there's a super long waiting list to get approved (the state cut back from 2000 people per year getting approved to 50) and then AFTER you get approved you get put onto another waiting list and you might see some type of approval for things before your eligibility lapses. So far I haven't had any luck with that.

      Most times, it's doable around here and when I'm in absolute "not sure what to do or where to turn" mode I can call on my in-laws to help, but I try not to do that unless there is no other option as I hate to ask people to handle my responsibilities and problems for me :).

      Hugs and prayers sent back at you, Dawn :).

  10. Here are my awesome deals that I got at Kroger this past Thurs. My sister was there & called me up & said get here quick, so glad I did lol. I ended up with 2 pkgs of pork chops (8 in a pkg) for a little over $6 (they retailed over $23 each), 2 pkgs of sub buns .59 each, 3 pkgs of their organic brand chicken strips marked down to $2.19 a bag, 4 pkgs of their very expensive organic Laura's ground beef $2.19 pkg (reg price $6.99 or $7.99 can't remember exactly),2 pkgs of vienna brand hot dogs marked down to $1.99 (reg price $6.99 each yeah I know crazy price for hot dogs) & 2 pkgs of fresh ground pork marked down to $1.17 & $1.19 each. Spent $36.19 saved over $80. Crazy awesome finds & my sister did just as awesome with her finds!!!

  11. Oh, Erika, I do hope you are feeling better soon. Also hope your son's hands are better. I have struggles with the skin on my hands, too. There's nothing worse, as you really need your hands for everything!

    With your new cat scratch post, a thought for when it gets worn: We go to Lowe's or Home Depot and get a roll of 1/4" sisal rope. DH removes the old worn out twine and re-wraps the cylinder and secures the new twine with his staple gun. It's so much cheaper than constantly buying new scratching posts.

    1. I was trying to do something similar to that with our old scratching post, but found the interior was cardboard and my cat had just decimated the cardboard right along with the rope and carpet. This new one has a wooden core, though, so hopefully I can make it work next time. Thanks for the advice on where to go and get rope, too. I was trying to rewind the old rope with the good side out instead of buying new, but I'm thinking buying new wouldn't cost much compared to buying a new post :).

  12. I'm sorry you got sick with strep...that is miserable and I am praying your son is healing up nicely also. I think you will find that you have more energy when your Vitamin D levels are back to normal. I had to be on clinical strength doses for awhile and still take 20,000 IU a day to maintain. If I am low, my pain levels go way up as does my OCD and anxiety.

  13. Erika-I was afraid something was wrong. I hope you are feeling better soon. And that Alvah is in less pain.
    DH and I went to Kroger today for the Dr Peppers that were on sale buy 5 for 77¢ each. We bought 10 and had 3 coupons for $1 off so ended up paying 47¢ each. We checked the marked down meats but there wasn't anything that I could fit in my budget. I did get the free small can of dog food. My babies will enjoy that.


  14. Oh my, sounds like you have had quite the week. Your resistance was low and I find that when mine is I get sick and strep is pretty nasty to get. If you have a dishwasher use it on everything and whenever I got strep I was told by a Dr. to put a capful of bleach in my dishwater for hand washing (rinse dishes well). Hopefully to avoid the whole family coming down with it.

    As you were talking about soup I had an idea that I might try for times when I end up sick since my husband isn't much of a shopper and it kills me when he pays full price or goes to the expensive stores. Maybe this would work for both of us. I'm thinking of soups I make and wondering if I got everything but the broth prepped and in a freezer bag I could then dump in a crockpot or on the stove top when I get sick and have good soup to eat. All you'd have to add is the broth or some bullion and water to cook it. I'm thinking about soups I could try like chicken and veggie. Plus we always keep rice in the freezer in bags already cooked and that could be added. Just a thought.

    Take care and I hope you have a much easier week this week.

    1. Thanks for the advice. I'm thinking as soon as I pull the turkey out of the freezer I'm going to make different types of soup and put them back in to replace it. Definitely a good idea to have those on hand. Thanks!

  15. Oh Erika, what a horrible week. I am so sorry and have been praying for you. Nothing I did this week will compare with your problems.
    Just one idea. Since you have a canner, it would be easy to make your own soups. I do this then stick them back in the cabinet for THOSE days. I will often just double a recipe and can some whenever I make a pot of soup. It saves us getting tired before it is eaten and then some jars are sent to college with my son. I use the reusable canning lids so the cost is really minimum.
    I do hope this week is better.

    1. Once I get some more jars emptied, I'm going to seriously consider doing this. Thanks, Jeannie. For right now I am going to pick up some of the "so so" store bought condensed soup as it's on sale for .79 a can this week when I go shopping tomorrow. At least than I have something quick that I can doctor up into a decent soup fast.

  16. Hi Erika, I really like Jeannie's suggestion about the soup! I don't can the soup, though ... I freeze it! It is so nice to know I have that as a back-up. It does take more time to defrost it though than to heat up canned soup. I usually microwave the container on the defrost cycle for 3 - 5 minutes. I can then get the soup out of the container and transfer it to a dish (microwave) or pan (stove top). At that point I continue to defrost it and get it heated up. I do keep the temp low on the stove, though so I don't burn the soup.

    I so hope you're feeling better and that your son's skin is improving. That's just got to feel so terrible ... and, you need some sleep!

    Sending lots of warm thoughts,

    1. Chris you have some good ideas also, however I can mine because my freezer is really getting old and I just don't trust it much. Also, my son will put a jar in his backpack when he leaves for class early in the morning. He will stop and open the jar to eat the soup for lunch, then close it up and finish it off for dinner. He then returns to his apartment late in the evening. I figure one jar of canned soup will have saved him about $14 for two meals. Not to mention all the chemicals he has not consumed.

  17. Hello first time commenting but I just wanted to thank you for your blog and like others compliment you on your perseverance through your challenging times. Your attitude is amazing.
    Tracy - Cape Town South Africa