Monday, April 6, 2015

Blessings and Frugal Accomplishments, as March turned to April (Plus Menu!)

A friend gave us these pretty butterflies for Daughter - after a bit of de-tangling and a little glue, they were good as new.  We hung them all from a branch in Daughter's bedroom.  So pretty!

We have been working on our garden fortress.  It ought to be deer proof, and will also protect the plants from hail to some extent.  I will write a separate post about it soon.

This week on the local buy-sell-trade page on Facebook, I got two board games for Daughter for $2 apiece.  One is Trouble (pop-o-matic!) and the other is a Lego board game.  They are complete, and even have the instructions.

We picked more daffodils to bring indoors and enjoy.

The jars are a much more vivid blue after cleaning up - this is the 'before' photo. 
I also got this lot of 15 'old jars' for $10 and a dozen eggs from my hens.  They came with a free coating of dust, as well as free pasta, lentils, rice and split peas.  I'll be cooking those up, a little at a time, for my hens.

I also got a free elliptical machine.  The lady said it was 'too tight' and hard to use.  I messaged her about how to adjust the tension level and she messaged me back that it didn't have an adjustment she could find...and that she and her husband both tried to fix it, to no avail.  I figured we could likely repair it, because we're pretty good with that sort of thing.  When we got it home, I saw this:

And turned down the, resistance.   Okay.

I did a survey for Pinecone Research.  I also subbed some at the library and began my training to score essays for Pearson.

I listened to lots of birdsong.  The chickadees are here, along with the robins and mockingbirds.  I haven't heard the meadowlarks yet, but I've seen some bluebirds.  Welcome, spring!

I asked around about mechanics, because we've had a hard time finding someone we trust and believe in.  I think we have found a gem, thanks to the recommendation of a person who said she thought he was really good, and really cares about what he does.  So far, we would agree with that assessment, and we were also very happy with the cost.  He has a shop at his home, so his overhead is less, and he passes that reduced cost on to his customers.

We hid two peeled, hard-cooked eggs for Taffy.

She loved her Easter egg hunt!
We dyed eggs.  I had not planned well for this and we had very little food coloring, so we used the little packets for making unsweetened Kool-Aid, mixed with water and a splash of vinegar.  We embellished the eggs with items we had on hand - markers, stickers and some temporary tattoos.  Afterward, we dipped some coffee filters in the dye to make butterflies.

I made a phone call in regard to an item Husband had purchased online that was not up to snuff...the customer service lady was very helpful and kind, and agreed that we should not have to pay the return shipping.  If I had not called to inquire, the shipping fee would have automatically been deducted from the refund.

I watched the moon the night it was full.

I enjoyed the scent of the apricot blossoms, along with the buzz of the honeybees tending them.  We got frost the next night, so I'm glad I took a moment to pay attention.

For our Easter breakfast I made an Almond Danish Ring.  It is one of Husband's favorites.  It's quite yummy.

There were a few good sales this past week.  Six ounce cans of almonds were buy one, get one free at Walgreens, and I had coupons to get an additional $1 off two.  Better yet, there were some flavors marked down to 2.99 per can - still BOGO, so they were $1 per can with sale and coupon.  Potatoes were 1.49 for a 10 pound bag, head lettuce (I got romaine) was .99/head, roma tomatoes were .69/lb and broccoli was .98/lb.  I also picked up a fresh pineapple for $1.50 - more than I usually pay, but that was about the best deal for fresh fruit this week.  We also have apples in the fridge and plenty of frozen fruit, applesauce, etc., but fresh is our favorite. :)  We found corned beef on sale for $2 per pound - I think they were overstocked from St. Patricks and just trying to get rid of it, so we purchased one for the freezer.

I enjoyed watching all the garden seeds that have begun to sprout.  I am officially eager for springtime to  come and stay!

This coming week will be a busy one - I have a dinner menu planned and I know I'll make some egg salad.  We'll manage - it's not like we will forget to eat!  Anyway, here is the dinner menu, Sunday to Saturday for this first full week of April:

Easter - I was very tired on Easter...perhaps because a certain little girl woke me at 3:30, because she 'just couldn't wait any longer' for Easter.  We were not really in the mood for a big dinner, and it was a really pretty day, so we played outside, working on the garden and soaking up the sun.  I got out some freezer items (smoky ribs and baked beans) from a few weeks ago, made a salad, and baked some chicken (there were not enough ribs to have leftovers for Husband's lunch the next day).  It made for a nice dinner.

M - taco salad, chips with homemade salsa and guacamole
T - dinner out, because I have a Parent-to-Parent session for Daughter's virtual school
W - beef stew curry over rice, sliced apples
R - homemade calzones, garden salad, pineapple
F - world's best fish sticks (these are from Costco, and they are really good), roasted potatoes, steamed broccoli, pineapple
S - cheese enchiladas, Mexican rice, refried beans, green salad

I hope you have a beautiful week, full of love and joy!  I hope your pas week was a good one too!  If you leave a comment, you can tell me all about it! :)


  1. That's... an amazing story about the elliptical machine! You wonder why, with the internet, those folks didn't research the "issue" online.

    Hey, I have taco salad on my menu for the week too!

    I signed up for a mystery shopping assignment on Wednesday. I haven't done one in several months because the questions were always the same and felt very disingenuous. Since it's for a place where I shop all the time, I was getting uncomfortable "tricking" those people. But they've now changed the shop. It's shorter and less complicated, but still pays the same, so I'm doing one on Wednesday to check it out.

    Like you, I'm also enjoying the birds chirping in my backyard and my garden growing. For me, lately, this has been the best entertainment, and 100% free too :)

    1. I've never tried mystery shopping, but I have some friends who do it (besides you, I mean). I hope the new shop goes well for you. :) Taco salad is a frequent choice around here - one of our favorites! We are having it tonight, and I just now discovered that we're out of cheddar....hopefully that won't cause too much disappointment. :)

    2. Thanks for saying this... I had forgotten that I'm also out of cheddar but we're supposed to have the taco salad tomorrow. I might just switch dinners around a tad since I'm going shopping on Wednesday... or we'll just use the shredded mozzarella that I do have on the taco salad.

  2. Grrr...I see that somehow I just commented on last weeks menu post instead of here. I think I may copy and paste it over here after you post it cause I am lazy that way today.

    1. Lana, after you do that, I'll clean this up - if I knew a way, I'd do it for you! :)

    2. LOL! I cannot even find it now! A very tired Nana today but I would not have traded the weekend with three of the grandchildren for anything!

    3. Hee hee! Check and make sure you don't have your shirt on backwards! (I speak from experience!)

    4. Haha! My shirts are all getting so big that I probably would not notice!

  3. Your Easter dinner sounds wonderful.. Bet you were tired, your daughter was really excited , wasn't she? haha
    Menu sounds yummy.. Judy

    1. At 3:30, I told her she had to go back to bed. She says she came in another time, but I have no recollection. We all got up at 7. She did enjoy hunting eggs and hiding eggs for Taffy, and it was a nice day!


Thank you for joining the conversation! I moderate the comments, so please be patient - they will appear as soon as I have read them!