Thriving In My Thrifty Week– April 14, 2019

We had a nice, normal week. Jake spent the weekend, as he does on occasion. I always look for fun, but inexpensive, things to do when he is here. This week, JoAnn Fabrics had a craft for kids day. They got to make a Lego elephant or flower. Jake and Patsy both made elephants, then Jake traded his out and made the flower. That is what he ended up taking home. The worker was above patient, and it was a successful outing.

We made Jello. Jake got 3 baby spoons and was using all of them at once, sometimes with a little help from Patsy, sometimes by himself. “Take a picture,” he begged. “Call it Jake loves Jello,” he ordered. So, being an obliging Auntie, I did!

We read an entire Boxcar Children book aloud. I ordered it in on inter-library loan, and now need to order another one for the week ahead.

In addition to being entertained by Jake all weekend, we did get quite a few things done before he came over.

I finished one of the raised beds and also made progress on the area around them. I planted my strawberries, some snow peas on the end, a little lettuce, spinach and Boc Choi on the sides and sprinkled radish seeds all over in-between the berries. It’s been very wet, and I’ll see what happens. The little yellow flowers in the upper left corner of the picture are some primroses that had survived from a previous year, and I moved them out of the path and divided one of them. Behind them are some Oriental poppies that were just growing in the flowerbed last summer, so I moved them out of the path as well.

The Columbine plant re-bloomed. I’ve had it for years. I’ve been letting it grow in the greenhouse for a few weeks. The baby vegetable starts in there are not as big as we wish they were. We are hoping they grow rapidly. Rob transplanted a few tomatoes and some basil and he is going to give everything a shot of diluted fish fertilizer soon. The peppers look pathetic, if you want to know the truth. Time will tell if they do anything.

The river at my sister’s house was at flood stage for much of the week. This picture does not really do justice as to how high the water was. The log jam you can see is made from logs, brush and debris that have come hurtling down the river and were stopped by the group of trees. We watched for quite a while, several times, in pure fascination as logs and brush slammed into the pile. Such power! Although much of that log jam is on their neighbors’ properties, there are some logs on theirs. They will have to deal with all that brush when it dries out.

We made lots of good food at home. Taco salad, tuna-egg salad, chef salad, meat loaf from turkey burger, baked potatoes, chicken soup, potato soup, burritos and more were all consumed.

I did not do my regular Friday grocery shopping trip, but instead just picked up a couple of items here and there as needed. Rob and Michaela went to Costco and got me butter and tortillas. It’s got to go on record as the cheapest Costco grocery shopping run on record! He always likes to come up with one errand for her to help with on Tuesdays after swimming, and he wanted a couple of things there, so that was this week’s errand.

22 thoughts on “Thriving In My Thrifty Week– April 14, 2019”

  1. Busy week – such a high river running by your Sister’s home. Our closest rives is the Fraser and it gets very high during run-off season. Always a pleasure to visit your post Becky (yes every week), finally I am commenting !

    1. I love it that you commented:). The high water in the river is a little more wild than I’ve seen it for a couple of years. The log pile is MUCH bigger than I’ve seen in a long time. I am so fascinated while watching it, especially when the big logs come crashing down and smash into the existing pile! Such power!!! (I am easily amused, and love getting my free entertainment where I can find it–but to be fair to me, I think anyone would be enthralled with that scene–from a safe distance)

  2. I decided I wanted to re-read your blog mostly to see how you and Rob coped with finances. I am so glad I did this because I gleaned a lot of information. Thanks very much for posting about your life, even the hard times.
    Jake the Jell-o man, you rock!
    Sincerely Barb in PA

    1. I’m glad it’s helpful to you. I think one of the most encouraging things to me is knowing that I’m not alone. There are many, many of us out there who need to pinch our pennies, and have found ways to do it while still enjoying life.

  3. It seems that it is too wet and too much rain and storms everywhere. It is good to see the seeds sprouting in spite of the wet. We had three trees come down in our woods with storms early in the week. Two were huge oaks and I can already see that our shade in the back will be much less. We had a huge grocery week with butter for 1.99, spiral hams for .95 a pound, chicken breasts for .78 a pound, Jif PB for .40 a jar, a turkey breast for $4.35, free Bic Flex razors, etc. I still have $50 of my March grocery money so you can see we had not shopped much lately. We really don’t need anything but when the deals come along we go and haul them home. 🙂

    1. My goodness! Those were stellar deals. I would LOVE to get some of those, but groceries are actually higher in our area. You did great. I hope your back yard is still pleasant with less shade.

  4. Water is a powerful and dangerous thing. I hope your sister’s house and property are OK. Jake is so cute. He looks like he is having a great time with the jello. Thanks for entering Sluggy’s contest and giving my name. I hope we both win.

    1. Thankfully, my sister’s house sits high up on a riverbank, with the actual flooding and all that down below. They will have a big mess to clean up, and occasionally lose a small tree or bush, but their house will be fine. The only way to get equipment to the lower part of their place is to drive it down the lower yards of all the people along the river from several houses down. That will likely happen in the summer when it’s super dry.

  5. Love the “Jake loves Jello” picture. It made me giggle. Hopefully, he won’t eat so much Jello that he turns into Jello!

    Your picture of the strawberry bed made wish I could get outside to be able to deal with plants. We had basically 9 inches of heavy wet snow last Thursday and are now expecting rain storms (and possibly severe thunderstorms) the next two days. The two major rivers (and the tributaries) have been at or above flood stage for the last month. To say we are wet is an understatement. As the saying goes, this too will pass and we will be wishing for the moisture.

    You certainly made a lot of good food (again!) this last week! I’m sure that I am not the only one who would love to live at your house with all you cook.

    1. We are getting so much rain here, as well! I’ve been so happy that the past 2 Wednesdays were dry enough for a couple of hours in the morning so I could get out there and do some yard work. That day, my niece that I homeschool, has a Spanish class elsewhere, so I have the time. Because it’s so wet, I’m having to pick and choose what I do. I had a little time one afternoon, as well. And, that’s how it goes around here! It’s crazy you are getting snow. You make me think the rain is not so bad:)

      1. Having snow this time of the year is not uncommon for us. We live in the Minneapolis/St Paul, MN, area so the 9 inches of snow wasn’t so bad. Last week, South Dakota and the southwest corner of Minnesota were in a blizzard with white-out conditions and had all roads closed. North Dakota was just about as bad. In fact, there is one tiny Minnesota town by the North Dakota border that still has 10 inches of snow on the ground as of this morning. And Minneapolis/St Paul are suppose to hit 60 to 65 degrees today. Go figure!

  6. Love the picture of Jake and the jello…lol. I totally understand about river flooding. I used to own a place on the Black Warrior River and my mobile home was on stilts because of spring flooding. We have had really bad spring floods here in Alabama this year.

    1. The Jello cracked me up, too. Kids! 3 baby spoons? He couldn’t even hold them all in his 2 hands:). I guess you could say I’m still getting my money’s worth from those spoons, which I think were purchased for Alissa maybe???…since she spent the night so much when she was a baby. (None of our kids were babies when we got them)

  7. May I ask what bok choi seeds you use? I planted some seeds (the pack said chinese cabbage). This was all I could find. I was very disappointed because it was mostly large leaves. When I buy bok choi the base resembles celery to me. My husband really only likes the stems cooked. He tolerates a small amount of the leaves. I am not sure what I did wrong, but mine never formed that base. I would appreciate any tips you might have.

    1. I like Joi Choi Pac Choi from Territorial seeds. It grows large. There are many mini, dwarf kinds as well, and I’ve grown some of them at times, but the one that grows the largest and gets large white stems is the Joi Choi. If I didn’t want to order since shipping is around $8 for any size order, I would check on-line to see if their seeds are at a natural foods store or nursery nearby–we have a store around here that carries some. Otherwise, I’d read the descriptions carefully and buy a packet that is full-size, not dwarf. Chinese cabbage around here is a crinkly cabbage with a thick white base, that grows in an upright fashion. It’s like Napa cabbage. Around here, it’s not like Boc Choi at all.

      I do have trouble with insect damage on Boc Choi, so sometimes we just get to eat the stems if the leaves are too chewed up. Also, it likes to grow when days are short, and bolts in the summer here. It likes cool weather, and I had some overwinter in the garden, despite the snow. It’s a blaze of yellow flowers now…a few just got overlooked last fall and we haven’t tilled yet this spring. I like to plant a few in the early spring and in the fall.

      We use them in stir fry and I also love to add a little to chicken soup if I have an abundance. It gives a deep flavor to it without really giving any kind of distinctive taste.

      1. Thanks you . That really helps. I couldn’t find any plants here so now I know to order seeds and what kind to order. It is too late to plant now, but I can prepare for fall.

    1. Jake might eat a few, but Rob and I eat a ton. We love them cooked lightly with a little garlic, or raw, or in a stir fry, or in cashew chicken…..I look forward to having them:). I usually plant a new little mini-row every couple of weeks and have them all summer.

      1. They won’t grow here during the summer heat and it is already too late to plant them now. I did plant a small row last month and something (probably a rabbit) at all but two.

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