Category Archives: Saving Money

Thriving In My thrifty Week–September 15, 2019

Rob was super blessed to hold not only 1 tiny baby, but 2 tiny babies today! I never stop marveling at tiny babies. So precious, and such a gift from God. This precious babe has been hanging around my sister’s house a lot while Mommy and Daddy crash on the couch for a little bit while everybody in the house takes turns holding her. That’s what life is all about, isn’t it? Her daddy is like a son to my sister and brother-in-law, but I just can’t wrap my brain around my sister as a….. grandma? But, I guess if I can be one, she can, too. I’m so glad she shares:). We feel blessed.

We canned chicken and broth. At 89c/lb, the price could not be beat. We canned more tuna than we needed last summer. We found that Rob likes canned chicken on his salads in addition to the tuna. We decided to just do a batch of chicken and use up the rest of the tuna, then can more tuna next summer. Tuna varies in price, but often is around $3.50/lb., so this a way to get him variety while saving money.

I bought approximately $13.50 of split chicken breasts and made broth and canned chicken. We got 17 or 18 little jars of assorted sized (most 1/2 pint) of chicken chunks, 7 quarts and 12 pints and a couple of tiny jars of broth.

Patsy decided to cook up a storm for the first time in a long time. I joined her. We made tamale pie.

She made Cashew Chicken with rice noodles. Twice. We made some blondies, and some chicken soup.

Then she went back to her regular favorites of tacos, quesadillas, and p.b.j. sandwiches with apples.

What brought this “cooking fit” on? Grandma and Auntie Jan were coming for lunch. She’s been waiting for years to be a part of the “make lunch for Grandma” team. I guess she thought Grandma and Auntie were starving:). The food came in handy. We did have a great lunch. They got to take little bits home for future meals. We had these things for our meals for a couple of days. I hauled little dishes over to my sister’s house for them to eat. Let’s hope she gets in a mood again:). She felt wonderful. All of our tummies felt wonderful! Win-Win!

Patsy is still plugging along on school, and finished week 6. We ran into some roadblocks due to information she had somehow missed over the years , but worked through a plan to correct the problem.

She joined the Christmas Choir at church and had her first practice. There is going to be a big program. This year, she felt confident enough to join in. Last year, she did not, but later confessed she had wanted to and helped with stage crew at the last minute. Grandma helped her work on her quilt block from the shop hop we took her on last winter/spring. None of these things cost money, but they all enrich all our lives and I have a great Christmas program to look forward to watching in December!

I was weeding during our sunny afternoon. Can you see what was under the weeds? I cleaned out all the old parsley and weeds, and propped the volunteer cherry tomato plant up on a wire cage–we may end up with a few more late cherry tomatoes. Not that we are out. I just hate to kill a plant with so much tenacity!

Can you see Alissa on the left? She is having the trip of a lifetime with her Daddy. They are in Israel, walking where Jesus walked, visiting Biblical places, and seeing for themselves what they have studied for years. In the meanwhile…..

Rob and I, my sister and older niece and Grandma and Auntie Jan and anyone else we can round up are all working together to keep the home fires burning for Jake and Michaela. It’s going well, but we will all welcome their return in a few days!

Thriving In My Thrifty Week–September 8, 2019

It was Homeschool Days at the Oregon Gardens. Although the event was advertised for students slightly younger than Patsy, I decided to take her anyway. I’m glad I did. There was plenty for her to learn and see.

We did go to every learning center, but took plenty of time in-between to admire everything we wanted to see. It was lovely.

It was our anniversary. My “hopeless romantic” of a husband knows the way to my heart! Olives and tea. Cupid’s arrow knows how to strike, even after 37 years of marriage. I have been truly blessed to have such a wonderful husband and a best friend for so many years.

I finished canning the applesauce and all the tomatoes. I just kept picking, and picking, and picking. Believe it or not, we eat multiple tomatoes each day, I shared a lot with my sister, and there were still all these! The bushes are winding down, though. I will miss them when they do finally finish, but there are still plenty for fresh eating left on those bushes!

We pulled all the onions and I braided them in 5 braids. They are getting their final cleaning in the gentle rain that is falling today and we will either hang the ropes on hooks or put in a box to finish drying.

There were some logs left from last year that were too long for our stove. Rob got them cut off with a little help, and we stacked the newly-shortened logs in the woodshed. With all the free wood Rob has gathered, what our friends brought us last fall will last through this winter as well. Then, we will have to gather more, but it’s nice to know there’s so much left.

We had a nice birthday party for my aunt at my sister’s home. Different ones brought food, and we enjoyed our time with friends and family.

Rob got 8 boxes of cereal for $3 by using the Safeway app, and some coupons he cut out! I was amazed and proud of him. We have plenty of cereal for a while now.

How did your week go?

Thriving In My Thrifty Week–September 2, 2019

Well, I have to say I’ve done something this week that I’ve never done before. I took Patsy to join friends at a monster truck show at the Oregon State Fair.

She had a blast! I had no idea of what to expect. I had a lot of fun, too.

It was amazing what those drivers could do with their trucks. I was glad to be watching, not in the vehicles.

We were able to use a prize Patsy had received from her summer reading program to get us both into the fair for $8, total. The monster truck show was free. Her auntie gave her some snack money to spend for her and her friends, and she got cotton candy and an elephant ear. Our friends got her a corn dog. I was unable to eat any of the food, as it was filled with gluten, so I saved a lot of money that way (Trust me, I would have had a little fair food if I could have, though!)

Earlier in the week, while camping, a man came around the campground offering anyone who wanted them some extra red rock crab he had not only caught, but cooked. I took a bunch of them, and once home, cleaned them and picked the meat out and ate a crab salad one day for lunch. Red rocks don’t have much meat in them, but I do like a little crab now and then, so it was a treat for me.

Tomatoes are still prolific in the garden. I got some canned before I went camping and have some more in a bucket to work on soon.

I got another baggie of strawberries to freeze. There were more, but the slugs are totally ruining many of them.

I spent Saturday making applesauce. I got 14 quarts and 11 pints. Rob bought 2 boxes from a favorite farmer before we went camping. One box got ripe quickly, but the other one will not be ready for a few more days. I won’t get quite so many jars next time, since we are eating from the second box as it ripens.

And then there was the lonely jar of dill pickles. The cucumbers are not having a good year, but you win some and you lose some.

This week, we will be getting back into the school routine with Jake, which means my working hours will shift into the afternoon and evenings when he gets home. Rob will do early mornings Tuesday and Thursdays, and take Michaela all over on those days while I do school with Patsy. It will take a couple of weeks, but we will be back into the routine before we know it.

Thriving In My thrifty Week–August 20, 2019

It’s hard to believe that summer is winding down! I’m enjoying my flowers very much. Patsy took this picture of one of our dahlias. She planted three last summer, and they all survived over the winter and are beautifully blooming again.

We worked quite a few hours with the kids last week. There were some extra appointments/work/etc. that caused their parents to be a bit more busy than normal. One afternoon, the kids decorated cut-out cookies. I pre-baked them in the shape of a train, and they put frosting and sprinkles on them. I made the dough from scratch, used sprinkles I had, made the frosting and got some red icing from the clearance rack. They had a blast. We had them for extra time on Friday, and this helped fill in the time with a fun activity.

Jake enjoyed the party for the end of the summer reading program at the library. There were crafts, games, a fire truck, and best of all…snow cones! He chose his free book as well.

He loved this game. He got to stomp on a pedal and it blasted the foam rocket up into the air.

Each child was given a little card and they could do 10 activities at the party. He did 9 and was done, so we went home and had lunch. It was just right for him, and really solidified the fact that he had completed the program.

Patsy plugged away on school, in-between activities. My goal is that we have a few weeks done by September 1, so we can have more time at Christmas and be done early. She’s doing great so far:)

On Saturday, my sister whisked us, the kids, and some friends off an a big adventure. I’m going to save the pictures of our trip for another day, because there is so much to tell, but I promise to get busy posting it very soon. One thing about my sister is that when she plans and orchestrates a trip, the agenda is full, to say the least! We had a blast, but when you see what we did in only 4 days and 3 nights, you will see why it needs a post of its own.

Right now, I’m winding down for a good night’s sleep since I need to be at Jake’s house bright and early in the morning for our next day of adventure together! I’ll be honest, I think we are going to keep it very quiet tomorrow. I envision lots of reading aloud, game playing and a bowl of noodles and a bagel for the boy. We will both be ready for that, I’m sure.

Thriving In My thrifty Week–August 11, 2019–Lots of Kid-Related Fun and Planning For Fall

On Tuesday, our church had a huge event for National Neighborhood Night Out. Michaela, and our young friend, loved the fire truck. There was a classic car show and Michaela was especially interested in that, as well. So was Jake. Rob and I took the kids because they really wanted to attend! We took friends for the kids because it’s just more fun for everyone:)

There were bounce houses, a puppet show, hot dogs and chips, a dunk tank, many other games, unlimited snow cones (Go Jake!–he more than ate his share), and many, many other super fun things to do. We were blessed to be able to attend and the kids and their friends had a ball. It was fun to see so many of the neighborhood families turn out, as well.

Patsy was away at camp. I tried to come up with some fun for Jake so he wouldn’t miss her so much. On Wednesday, Rob took him to the $1 movies. They watched a cartoon about Penguins, then went to the library to turn in the final form for summer reading.

On Thursday, these kids, plus Jake and 2 more, all joined up at the Gilbert House Childrens’ Museum. My friend and I ran herd on all 8 of them, fed them a picnic lunch, and had a great day. We were able to use her pass, and my OMSI one ( reciprocal ), so admission was free for all 10 of us. Patsy and her friends returned home from camp that afternoon. Friday, we grocery shopped and then just chilled. She was SO tired.

Her camp involved camping in a field for several nights, and spending the days river rafting down the Deschutes River, plus the usual Bible studies, meals, group sings, etc. that are the norm at church camp. It was another wonderful opportunity for her.

I cooked up a lot of pink beans. They took a while, since they have been around a long time, but they turned out nicely. I’m going to make more frozen burritos and freeze some for quick meals for Patsy especially, as she loves, loves, loves them. My garden has been producing like crazy, so I’ve been picking and preserving that.

I used the rest of the container of beans to make refried beans. I need some for an upcoming event, and then will freeze the rest. This huge pot will be gone in an amazingly short period of time, and then I’ll make more from the traditional pinto beans. They all work!

These white carnations were in a bouquet I received last week. The rest of the flowers went bad, so I just got some zinnias from the garden and revived the bouquet. I love it! On my birthday, I was spoiled rotten by my sisters, nice, nephew and Mom taking me out for breakfast, then Rob took me for a drive to the coast. We just drove along, stopping where we wished and eating odds and ends when we wanted to. It was relaxing. After that, a friend dropped by with goodies….what more can I say? It was a great birthday.

I pulled up any beets that had any size to them and made several jars of pickled beets. I canned green beans, and most of my bushes are done. I’m ok with that. I’ve got quite a few jars now, and need to move on to other projects. I will likely freeze any odds and ends that still grow on the one remaining very short row as there won’t be enough to fill a canner.

Zucchini anyone? I’m running out of people willing to take it…….It’s like Bubba in Forest Gump, but with zucchini…..zucchini pickles, zucchini bread, zucchini relish, baked zucchini………….. All joking aside, it’s a huge blessing that the garden is doing so well.

We’ve been discussing a big change for Patsy for a long time now, and have finally come to a decision. She has asked to be homeschooled and we have decided to give it a year and see how it goes. So, I’ve been going through curriculum I already own, ordering used books to fill in the rest, and a few new ones when I couldn’t get them used. Everything is here now, and I’ve spent literally hours organizing it, laying out the plan, and we’ve actually done a little school already, since she is excited. After all, anything done while in a good mood is still done when cold season strikes and all she feels like is laying around….I like to plan my own schedule anyway and get done earlier than the schools around here do. I’m planning quite a few field trips for her, as that is something she has missed out on. They just don’t do many in the public schools around here anymore. Of course, there is a huge pile of books waiting for her as well!

I went through all my remaining school supplies and didn’t need anything except some tape and a couple of mechanical pencils. So, I passed up all the super good sales this time.

I got a lot of groceries this week, and shopped the loss leaders. There was butter for $1.99/lb, lunchmeat for $1.99/package, milk for 99c/1/2 gallon, tortillas for 99c/package, and many more. It took a lot of thinking, but I got a lot of groceries for my money.

How did your week go? Were you able to stay thrifty, even though you were busy?

Thriving In my thrifty Week–August 3, 2019

We spent a day enjoying OMSI (the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry). The submarine tour was especially interesting to our crew, as we had never been on that before. Between a friend who had a reciprocal pass and my sister’s membership, Patsy and I were able to tag along.

My sister bought us all tickets to see the Science of Pixar exhibit at OMSI. The kids loved it because it showed how so many of their favorite characters were engineered and had hands-on activities for them to do.

It was a beautiful day. I enjoyed the river and the bridges. I don’t go to Portland very often, and I am seldom in a place where I can just gaze at this sight.

I worked like crazy before and after OMSI, because the peaches were going, going…..and soon would be rotten…….I did get 17 jars of jam made, froze some, and Rob froze the rest while Patsy and I were gone. I was so glad that I got to them before they went bad. Peach jam is one of our absolute favorite kinds. I will use the frozen ones for smoothies. I will can another kind later in the summer.

During the summer, Michaela usually only hangs around with Rob for one day a week, Thursday. He takes her to Horses of Hope first, then to volunteer at 50 +, and then brings her here for a bit, then home. We have declared Thursday to be “wash the dog day” because she so longs to wash dogs:). So, once again, she and Patsy gave the dog a good bath, making Michaela happy, and saving us money at the same time.

We returned lots of bottles and cans, most of which were given to us, to put in our vacation fund. To make it stretch even further, we put the money on the Bottle Drop account, removed that amount of money from my grocery envelope and put the cash into the vacation fund, and then use the Bottle Drop 20% extra feature at the grocery store to get a few more groceries each time. If you don’t have Bottle Drop where you live, this may not make sense, but basically if you leave the money on your card and use it at a participating store, you get 20% extra store credit.

In the garden, things continue to ripen, and a few new seeds have sprouted. These are green onions. I hope to have a row next to the edge that will overwinter as they did a couple of years ago. These seeds were saved from those green onions, so I’m not out anything if it doesn’t work. I have baby lettuce, a few green beans, and a few more pickling cucumbers coming up for fall eating.

I have been picking cucumbers, beans, tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, lettuce, zucchini, beets, broccoli side shoots, and herbs.

Patsy needed shorts. Rob found some jeans at a thrift store for $1 in her size. I took 2 pairs of them and cut them off. One I hemmed, and the other I just sewed around so she could fray them up to the sewed line.

It’s a busy time of year!

Thriving In My thrifty Week–July 21, 2019

I am posting this picture of raspberries for Marybeth of Making Cents of it All blog. She has some raspberries at her house that look very, very different. Around here, in the Pacific Northwest, we have 2 main kinds of these berries. We have the June-bearing, which these are, and the ever-bearing. They look similar. Hers have a fuzzy wrapper. I was astounded! I’m still picking berries from my bushes, although they are starting to wind down.

I was able to work in the garden some more. I pulled spent snow peas, added steer manure, and replanted lettuce. I have several more little projects out there to do and areas to replant when they open up.

I took Jake to Baskin Robbins for an ice cream as his prize from the chart he does over at my house. When he fills it doing chores and activities, he gets a prize. Later in the week, I sent Rob to Fred Meyers when they ran a super deal on ice cream for $1/carton and had him pick up the 5 allowed and a box of cones. Patsy and Jake feasted on ice cream cones several times for a fraction of the price it would have cost me to take them to the ice cream shop.

Michaela and Patsy gave the dog a bath, saving at least $40 for a grooming fee.

I froze raspberries from our bushes, blueberries from my mom, 11 or 12 baggies of broccoli from the garden, and canned a total of 12 quarts and 20 pints of green beans from the garden. One morning, when I was up super early to preserve food, I was surprised to see a hot air balloon sailing through the sky nearby!

I did two things this week that cost absolutely nothing, but gave me great joy. First, I went to a wedding reception for a young lady that used to play with my girls years ago. I got to see some old friends that I have not seen for quite a while.

Second, I got to hold this sweet 6-day-old bundle on Friday. I also got to attend her baby dedication today at church. Babies are so precious and I never get over the miracle that they are!

We attended the Farmer’s Market again this week with friends. Again, Patsy received the $2 coupon kids get for tasting an item–blueberries were the item this week—no hardship for her. Our friend’s 7 kids got their tickets as well. My sister brought Jake, as well, and he ate a blueberry and got his $2 coupon as well. We were amazed he ate one! I didn’t see that coming:). It was really fun, and we even saw a lady dressed as “Ima Blueberry” who handed out recipes and things. The kids were tickled with her. They picked the perfect woman for the job–she really hammed it up. They loved it. After all, it’s not every day you see a lady in a round, blue costume talking like she was a blueberry:)

I’ve got so many zinnias blooming now. These are all from 25c baggies of seeds Rob bought at a garage sale and volunteers. Jake’s case worker was coming to see him. He told me he wanted to take the man some flowers. When I asked where he thought he would get some, he said, “From your garden, auntie” like it was the most obvious thing. It was all his idea, and the caseworker said it was the first bouquet he had every received from a little kid on his caseload. I love how you can cut and cut these and they just make more blooms when you do!

Thriving In My thrifty Week–July 15, 2019

I’m enjoying my flowers, that are blooming like crazy right now. This is a poppy I grew from seed and put into a flowerbed. I also have dahlias that rebloomed from last year’s bulbs, zinnias, nasturtiums, and more.

I planted quite a few seeds here and there, and some made it, but some were eaten by slugs…..Still, I’m happy with the ones that made it.

My mom came and took Patsy and I out to lunch on Tuesday. She brought all these blueberries, which I froze. We had a great time. During the school year, she visits more frequently, since she is down in my area more often. We have to plan for it more during the summer, so it was nice to get it on the calendar.

Lovana went back to Hawaii at the end of the week. Ja’Ana went with her for a little while. But, all week, there was extra cooking, laundry, etc. and lots of extra commotion as people came and went. It was fun!

I worked in the garden several times, and we ate lettuce, snow peas, and berries frequently. I was able to pull lots of food from the freezers and pantry to cook along with the garden produce.

This week will be busy, as Jake and Michaela are back from their vacation and I’ll be working with them a lot. I need to rack up some extra hours, since they’ve been gone. I’ve got a lot of kid-friendly activities planned and I’m loaded up with Ramen noodles, mini-bagels, and lemonade for later in the week, but today, I’m going to help Jake unpack from his vacation and clean his room–not super fun for him, but a good skill to work on. Once we clean for a while, we will do some fun stuff, like read. I’m ready to get back to routine, and I’ll bet he is, too:)

Thriving In My thrifty Week–July 7, 2019

We had a pretty fun week. It started last Monday, when I went to the zoo with some of my favorite people. Weeks ago, I promised my friend, Harnet, that I would be delighted to spend time with little Danait while she worked that day. Her regular day care took the week off, and different friends pitched in to cover. I chose Monday, and Patsy and I planned a zoo trip, using my zoo membership. Then, much to my surprise, Jake and Michaela’s older sister decided to take them to the zoo that same day, too. So, we met up, of course.

Danait immediately started fixing Caitlyn’s hair. Over and over and over. Caitlyn loves kids. Good thing:).

….because Danait rode on Caitlyn’s shoulders for most of the zoo. Notice the zoo cup way up on top. Danait is trying to be as tall as a giraffe. Those cups are great. You can just keep bringing them back over and over and fill them with soda for $1.25 with your membership. This time, they told Caitlyn that refills were free in that certain cafe, so even better. Patsy has 2 cups from years past and we brought both–one for her and one for Danait to use and filled them up to go with the picnic food I brought.

The week continued full of fun and frugal activities. We had Jake and Michaela on Tuesday and mostly drove Michaela to appointments and did errands like shopping at Costco, etc. We took them to lunch at Costco. It is such a great bargain to eat there. Then, Wednesday, we only had Jake. One activity that day was making cupcakes for the 4th and Grandma’s birthday. We used ingredients we had on hand, and made them from scratch.

She loved them! We celebrated her birthday on the 4th, as often happens, as her birthday is the next day.

She never seems to mind the red, white and blue wrappings on her birthday presents. We do set fireworks off for her, though, and have a “blast” doing that:)

With Alissa and her dad in charge, every kid got a turn to choose a firework to be set off, poppers were thrown down, and lots of smoke bombs and sparklers were lit.

The kids had a ball! (The number of guests was somewhere in the upper 20’s, a mixture of friends and family) Jake was really into playing with his friends that were there. At one point, I was handed a light saber and a toy gun and told to sit in my lawn chair and I would be “safe” from the storm troopers that were coming! (We could see a group of lights across the river, which were dubbed storm troopers….). I also got invited to play Legos, which I did for a while. Otherwise, I just had fun being with everyone. Except Rob. He didn’t feel well, and decided to stay home with the new dog. It was a good call. Safari wasn’t fond of fireworks, but did ok with Rob there.

The best part of the 4th, though, was that Lovana flew in from Hawaii for a visit. We will be enjoying her company for a week. She was so glad to spend time with her cousins, aunties and uncle this week, and has more plans in the few days she has left with family and friends.

So, I’ve been cooking up a storm, since Ja’Ana was here to eat as well one day and I have been feeding extras. I also spent quite a bit of time restocking at Costco, Grocery Outlet, Azure Standard, and Natural Grocers. I’m almost finished. For 3 months, I have been using quite a bit from my pantry, freezers and canning cupboards. The truth is, if you cook from scratch a lot, sooner or later, things run out. (Thank you Mrs. Obvious). The only surprise to me is that so many things ran out at once. I’ve actually been substituting on some things for a while now. So, now I’m good to go again for a while, except for a couple of items I still need to get, like tin foil. I bought things where they were the best deal, to the best of my ability. I got a very few Ibotta rebates, but most things were not qualifiers for that program.

To give you an idea of what I bought, here are just a few of the items: 25lbs rice, baking powder and soda, salt, pepper, bulk spices (lots), cleaning supplies, laundry aids, ziplocks of all sizes, parmesan cheese, lots of gluten-free pasta, produce, cheese, and so on.

I made Rob hold the bag of rice to illustrate that he’s lost more weight than 4 of them so far!

To end the week on a high note, we visited the Salem Farmer’s Market with friends. The kids participated in the “Pops” program where this week, they tasted honey, and received little toys and each got a $2 voucher to spend at the market. Patsy bought a little carton of blackberries with hers and ate them while she wandered around.

They all had a great time at the market, and then Patsy’s friend came over to hang out for a while afterwards. The girls played a long game of Monopoly and painted their toenails. I fed them sandwiches and fruit for lunch. I love to see that there are still kids around who can enjoy themselves with simple things, and am especially glad that Patsy is one of them.

How did your week go?

Thriving In My Thrifty Week–June 30, 2019

After several months of looking, we finally got a dog this week. We had several criteria to meet. 1) It needed to be a gentle dog to be a companion for Rob since he is stretched out in pain for some time each day in the back room. 2)I needed to be able to handle the dog as I would be the main dog-walker. 3). We needed to be able to afford the rehoming/rescue fees.

It has been an insane journey. After all the media hype about how many dogs need homes, we were shocked at how hard some places made it to adopt the dogs they had.

One place wanted us to promise to never change the address and phone number on their dogs’ microchips. Really? What if the dog ran away and they couldn’t reach us, the new owners? That didn’t make sense to us.

One person on Craig’s list wanted a $900 rehoming fee. Really? What was it? A SOLID GOLDEN retriever?

We understand that the rescue places put money into the dogs. We understand they often spay or neuter them, and get them veterinarian care when they need it. We planned to spend some money, but so many places wanted several hundred. When a dog was cheap or free, it went so quickly we couldn’t even get out to see it before it was gone. We began to make this a matter of prayer–that we could find the right dog for us.

One night, Rob searched the local county dog control/pound’s website to see what they had available right now. (He also searched several others, as he has been doing regularly). They had a couple of options available that looked good, so he ran over there on Tuesday while I was up visiting a friend to take a closer look. They were easy to work with, brought out several dogs for him to meet, accepted his application and approved him on the spot, and he brought home a dog that same day! He was so surprised that he had found the right one, and it was so easy, that he had to leave the pound and come back after he purchased some dog food! This dog was only $20. Yes, $20. She is older, very sweet and quiet, but we think she was slated for the happy hunting grounds in the sky pretty soon if she had not been adopted, and they really wanted to get her to a good home. She is a Boxer mix. We think mixed with Pit Bull, to look at her, but who knows what else. She seems to have had some training in the past, but I’m already working with her each day to learn more things. Her name is Safari, and I think we are going to be very happy with her.

We bought a large crate and she happily went into it while we were gone to church this morning. I’ve been walking her for 1-2 miles each day, broken up in shorter walks. She has not had an accident in the house and seems to be letting us know she wants out. She hasn’t been barking or chewing things. She’s been gentle with Rob, not jumping on him or pulling him over as he is unsteady. I’m not sure what they told her at the pound, but she clearly took the adage, “be a good girl for them” to heart. I’m hoping she will keep up these good behaviors. So far, I’m delighted.

We received a free vet check-up when we adopted the dog, so we will go to that on Tuesday.

I did do some other things this week to stay frugal. I cooked a lot from scratch. We were going with some friends to a potluck at the day camp where 4 of our friend’s kids attended this week. I volunteered to make the potluck food, and took plenty. I did berry-peach crisp, brownie bars, zucchini bread and taco salad, which I assembled right before we ate. I made lots of salad this week, as our lettuce is prolific right now. I made Mexican-flavored pork, using home-canned salsa verde. I’ve used or shared almost all of the pea pods from the first crop. I’m making vegetarian taco lentils to take to a friend tomorrow, and for us to eat. Rob loves them.

Speaking of Rob, he goes to the doctor for a weight check-in tomorrow. We are pretty sure he is more than 10 pounds down since last month. He’s been working so hard, and staying within the 1000 calorie/day limit the doctor set for him. It should be a fun weigh-in.

I worked in the garden several times.

Patsy gets to go swimming at an aquatic center for free with her youth group tonight after evening church. She’s excited.

Rob scored big-time at a garage sale. They were selling absolutely everything. He bought unopened peanut butter for 25c and a can of Costco chicken for 25c. He got lots of spices for 25c each. The only thing I threw away was the baking powder–it was so expired I didn’t think it would rise any more. The large container of pepper alone……several dollars worth.

We read library books and watched library movies and I took Jake to a mid-week show as part of the summer reading program. I took Michaela to a birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese–she had fun with her friends. Rob took her shopping for a gift, and the stuffed animal she chose for her friends was under $10, and the girl seemed happy with it. The summer will involve more activities with Jake, as well as a few extra hours now and then, as Jake doesn’t have school. There is plenty to do that is not expensive, but still fun, as well as the chores, reading, etc. I have him do daily.

Well, I’m off to check those lentils. I hope your week goes well, and that you have a great 4th of July!