Sunday, September 23, 2012


As I've been promising to post pictures of our new place for the family to see more of it, here's a picture of one end of the kitchen.  We just bought the microwave so Matt hadn't gotten all the sticker off the front.  It's HUGE compared to our kitchen at Matt's old place.  The dishwasher is to the right of the sink and then the refrigerator.  I love this kitchen and it has TONS of cabinet space.

The big Stock Car Stampede was this weekend and guess who got sick.  Me.  Matt was sick last weekend and obviously shared his germs with me.  I did make it to the Calcutta Thursday night to help out but by Friday night I was in bed with fever, chills, sore throat and coughing.  Not how I envisioned my weekend to say the least.  We were SUPPOSED to have been at the race track all day and most the night Saturday.  I'd scored $10 off tickets for both of us for helping with the Calcutta making it an even cheaper fun day out.  Matt's lecture to me was that I wasn't going to die if I didn't go to the race track but if I sat in the cold wind and cold temps all day I might.  I'm not sure he's got his priorities right but I gave in and curled back up in bed for the day.  .

The awesome news that I got this weekend was that my oldest son, Matt, is engaged!!!!  He called me Thursday night as I was leaving the Calcutta to let me know he was proposing.  I haven't met her but I think her and I will get along fine.  She loves him and that's what's important.  They called me Saturday night to let me know she'd said yes so that was one good thing about being home.  Looks like we're having a wedding around this time next year so I need to save for a trip to Texas.

While I was curled up on the couch with Moo, Luna, and Oreo weighting me down and both Tip and Lacey were laying right next to the couch (they're in cahoots with Matt on this!) my man once again worked miracles and managed to get our furnace going after having to do some minor tinkering.  He ended up having to replace a gasket and make a few minor adjustments but he did it and we now have heat!!!  It was so cold in the house Saturday that we needed to kick on the heat for a bit to take the chill off.  Okay, maybe 50 isn't cold but since I was already having chills it felt like it was freezing.  Our nights have been dropping into the 40's and in some areas 30's.  Last week we had frost warnings and this week we have freeze warnings.  Looks like the heat might get kicked on in the mornings.  We need to get another programmable thermostat.  The furnace was our biggest concern when we bought the place.

Saturday since I was stuck on the couch I did purchase a new Kindle cookbook to read that sounded interesting, The Poverty Cookbook for Beginners.  It was only 99c so I figured I couldn't lose much if I didn't like it.  It has a couple recipes in it that interested me and I'll probably try out once I get back on my feet a bit more.

Thankfully I'm feeling better today.  Matt took me out for breakfast at Perkin's.  It was actually more a brunch for us so it elimated me having to decide what to make for lunch/dinner. He's been homesick for coney dogs so I let him make some for supper tonight.  I managed to get our bedroom dusted and vacuumed, and knocked out some laundry.  I did get the flannel sheets out, washed, and on the bed for tonight.  I woke up 3 nights last week needing another blanket so it was time to put the warmer sheets on.  I LOVE flannel sheets.  This is my first pair of ultra flannel and it's like sleeping on fleece.  Matt finds they're too warm for him unless it's super cold outside so we frequently quibble over when I get to put them on. I need to watch for a sale and get another pair of them as this pair is going to need replacing probably before winter is over. 

I got a burst of short lived energy after I woke up from a 4 hour nap and decided to do some baking and knocked out a batch of Addictive Peanut Butter Granola and a batch of chewy granola bars (new recipe). Matt's been asking for the granola for breakfast.  Moo is watching from the back of the dining room chair to ensure I'm mixing everything correctly. 

I used dark cacao chips (60%) (picked up at Aldi's after Christmas for under $1) in the Addictive Peanut Butter Granola this time since I didn't have the peanut butter chocolate swirl chips I normally use.  It looks a lot more chocolate-ey then normal because of the difference in chips used.  As soon as this cools off a bit more I'll put it into a Mason jar to store in the frig.  We'll put this on yogurt for breakfast in the mornings.  I We like Stonybrook French Vanilla Yogurt, sliced strawberries  or raspberries and this granola.  YUMMY!  It's also good on ice cream.

Matt and I both love granola bars but I have a big issue with the price, especially since I like the Kashi ones, which of course cost twice as much.  The MYO Chewy Granola Bar recipe was from 2012 Family Guide to Groceries Under $250 a Month cookbook.  I got the Kindle Version free  at some point but it's $3.49 on Amazon.  You can also check out her website at for more frugal recipes.  The recipe for these might be on the website.  I did alter the recipe and added 1/2 cup of peanut butter to it.  I'd like to try these with some dried chopped cherries and mini chocolate chips next time and maybe add some dried coconut.  These are more like a bar cookie then the sticky granola bars from the store.  Matt gave them a thumbs up so I'll definitely be adding these to the keeper list.

Matt came up with most the menu list for this week which made it super easy. 

Chicken Enchiladas (I planned to make these last week and didn't get them made)
Chicken Noodle Soup (using the chicken carcass after making the enchiladas)
Spaghetti or lasagna, salad, and garlic bread
Roast with carrots and potatoes

I have to work Thursday night so we'll both be on our own that night and we'll decide what we want for the weekend once we figure out what we're doing.  It's the Annual Rodeo and we're both planning on attending since neither of us has been to one before.  Not sure if we'll be attending Saturday or Sunday at this point.

Monday, September 3, 2012


It's been a busy week on many fronts so we've both been looking forward to a little down time this weekend. 

I scored a bag of apples this week for free.  They were tiny, tiny apples - the size of a crab apple but they weren't crab apples.  Not sure what variety they were to be honest.  I broke it down into 2 batches of applesauce so I did one Friday night after I got home from work and one Saturday morning while Matt had my Jeep back in the shop AGAIN.  Wouldn't you assume that if you'd just dropped almost $300 on new sensors and told them to break the seals and reseal them that they MIGHT have noticed there were nails in 2 of my tires and a hole in the third?  Apparently I expected too much.  So we'll see if they FINALLY got the leaks sealed up this time.  Okay, enough of my rant...  Monday afternoon I was able to process the applesauce and got 12 pints out of both batches.  Not bad for a free bag of apples.  I'd hoped to make it to the Farmer's Market on Saturday but the Jeep took longer then expected and I wasn't able to get the cukes to make pickles.  Hopefully next weekend.

Saturday night I finally got to go to the Jamestown Speedway.  Wow, what fun!  The wind that made the temperatures so much more bearable coated us with sheets of dust most of the night.  I could feel the layer of grit on my face and in my hair making it mandatory to take a shower before going to bed especially since I'd just washed the sheets.  We saw a bad accident although it could have been much worse.  I hope the driver that caused it gets suspended from racing the rest of the season for it.  It was a senseless accident that shouldn't have happened.  I'm very glad Matt hasn't ever had an interest in racing, just modifying the engines.  I'd be a wreck during the race worrying about him getting injured if he did race.
Saturday I also tried my hand at making doggie treats for the first time.  I know, unbelievable that I've never done this before.  I used a recipe from Dog Treat Kitchen  to make Mind Kiss Dog Treats.  I highly suggest reading the recipe before starting - I didn't read it and just assumed that it was made like regular cookies so threw everything into a bowl then realized that I was supposed to have made a cooked cornmeal mush first and THEN mix everything.  Needless to say my second batch turned out better then my first batch although the dogs didn't complain about either.  I used a plastic container of fresh mint between the 2 batches.  Next time I'll probably use dried instead of fresh.
Sunday we both were in an exhaustion phase so Matt declared it a No Work Day.  We both kicked back with books and read the whole day.  I did manage to get a bit of cleaning in before I curled up in the chair.
Monday morning we headed out yard sale-ing again.  Matt had spotted an ad for one that had a freezer we wanted to check out.  Of course as we were pulling up somebody was driving off with the freezer we'd hoped to score.  Oh well, we'll find one eventually.  At our second yard sale I found this beauty that I was able to get for $25.  Isn't absolutely beautiful!  I've been wanting a treadle machine for years but just didn't have the space for one.  It needs some refinishing on the wood but the machine appears to be in great working order plus has a new belt on it.  From my research so far it appears to have been made between 1920 and 1940.  I love the design on the machine.  They just don't make beautiful sewing machines like this any more.  At the third yard sale we hit Matt scored a couple books and I scored a quilting stencil and several craft books.


Matt also knocked out replacing the shower head in the master bath and he fixed the refrigerator ice dispensor that he made a replacement piece for from a coat hanger.  Sometimes that man amazes me which is a good thing.