Tuesday, December 31, 2013



Today is crock pot cooking day.
I haven't done one of these days in awhile.
These meals made today should last the rest
of the week for suppers and work lunches for hubby,
maybe some lunches for me and the kids but
I have our lunches already planned out with other things.
It's nice to have the main part of your meal
already cooked making less work and time in the kitchen.
And to think I still have my triple crock pot buffet
on top of these crocks, lol.
Left- This crock pot was purchased at a yard sale for $1.00!
Middle and Right- These were found at hubby's work
in vacated apartments.
I actually had a couple more we found that I gave to mom!
Love, love, love my crocks!

Crock #1 has 4 small deer roasts in it
with a carton of beef stock and a can of tomato soup.
Once done drain off soup/stock into 
a pot and add 2 packets of brown gravy.
Cut up some deer roast and add to the gravy
and serve over pasta.
Using anything tomato with deer meat helps to
make it taste less gamey.
This will be used for deer stew with 
carrots, potatoes and gravy.
And it will also be used for deer, noodles, mushrooms and gravy.

Crock #2 has 2 pounds of deer burger with
2 cans tomato soup and 1/2 cup of bbq sauce.
This will be used for 2 meals of sloppy joes.
Serve with french fries or macaroni & cheese.
If there are any leftovers I can make chili with it.

Crock #3 has boneless pork ribs with
a bag of sauerkraut and some brown sugar.
Will serve with potatoes for New Year's Day.

Now I can chill and spend the rest of day
doing other things like the last loads of laundry
and getting them put away.


I got the humidifier going again.
I took it all apart and cleaned it out really
well in the bathtub.
My humidifier has washable filters
so no need to go out and buy expensive replacement ones.
Humidity makes your house feel warmer,
your skin less dry and helps with colds and coughs.
The humidity in your house should be somewhere
between 30 - 50%.  Any more could produce mold.
Right now ours is at 45%.
Temperatures are only going to get colder
with more snow on the way so trying to
make it comfortable in here
and the humidifier will allow me to turn back
the thermostat a couple of degrees to try and
shave a little off the gas bill.


Got a letter from hubby's work to to confirm
all the benefits we had.
I could of done without it showing
how much it cost at a whopping $705 a month.
Got depressed so went and took a nap.
They raise the rates of health care, food,
gas, utilities, you name it.
They raise your pay by .25 cents an hour each year
which is a whopping extra $10 a week
before taxes are taken out of it.
(some places are different with raises.
Heck when I worked for Schottensteins
everyone got a .05 cent raise each year,
.10 cents if you were a huge suck up.  ).
Where's the cost of living increase in everyone's pay?!
This nickle, dime and quarter crap ain't cutting it!
I just don't see how people can afford to live anymore!


Supper was de-licious!
You know it's good when the house is
really quiet when everyone is eating, lol.
There was enough deer roast leftover to make
another batch of this another day
and maybe 2 meals of deer stew.
Freezing already cooked meat and gravy is great
to have for a quick supper.
I don't suggest freezing potatoes or maybe pasta.
That hasn't been working out too well for me.

Monday, December 30, 2013



For the last couple of days I've been getting up early
due to a lower backache.
This morning I discovered it wasn't my back but
my tailbone.  If you were to press that area
I'd scream!  I haven't fallen or anything like that
so can't explain why it hurts.

Today hubby returns to work after being off
for most of last week on vacation.
He does get New Year's day off this week though.
Kids don't return back to school til Jan. 6th.

What's on the agenda for today, let's see.
I have laundry to finish up and
leftover ham to dissect up to make
ham and potato soup out of and
I have to figure out what to make for
a potluck at hubby's work.
I guess they are having their Christmas party this week.

Hubby had gotten a box of new work clothes
from his work.  Yesterday I saw that on top of
this open box there was some ink stains on a couple
of the shirts.  I'm not talking a couple of little
spots, I'm talking it looked like someone had
spilled a bottle of ink on the top shirt
and it bled through to the shirt underneath.
So wish I had taken a before picture because
the size of this blue ink stain was bigger than my hand!
I still haven't found the source of the stain.
Hubby told me to throw out the shirts but
I knew he needed them because his other
shirts were stained from paint, caulk and whatever
he works with at work.
I took the shirts and sprayed the stains with a
liquid gel type Oxyclean and scrubbed with
a toothbrush.  Sure it removed a lot of the ink on top
but still left major blue stains.
Next I filled a small trash can with cold water
and dumped a bunch of bleach in it
and let the two shirts soak for the afternoon.
Me and hubby really didn't think the ink stains
would come out it was that bad.
Before bed last night I removed the shirts
from the trash can and the stains were completely gone!!
I nor hubby could believe it.
I still wish I had a before picture to show you.
Anyone else would have thrown out the white
button up work shirts.
Clorox bleach is the greatest!


The hams are almost done being tore apart.
It's hard to believe I'll still get 4-5 meals from two hams.
(potato soup, ham & beans, ham omelettes, 
ham & scalloped potatoes and a 
tuna helper made with ham instead of tuna fish)
The one ham we ate for 3 days before Christmas
and it was just the four of us.  The second ham
was made Christmas morning and there was 
6 people making sandwiches out of it.


Getting around to finishing up laundry.
Got a load of whites going.
I took the trash can that had hubby's shirts
in them with bleach water and dumped it into the 
washer when filling it with hot water.
Next I stripped the beds for the next load of laundry.

Earlier I laid down and took a nap.
After sleeping in some this past week
6:30am came too early this morning
to see hubby off to work.

At the moment I have cut up 4 large potatoes
and have them boiling in a pot of leftover
ham broth and more water from this morning where I boiled
up the remaining hams to remove their meat.
I'm hoping to give the potatoes a little more flavor
for our ham and potato soup.
Drain water & broth from potatoes,
in pot add 4 cups milk, 2 packages
of sausage flavored gravy mixes and heat til
thickened.  Add in potatoes and ham.
You can dilute the soup down even more with water
and add instant mashed potatoes for a thicker
and heartier potato soup.

I only was able to find a 5 pound bag of potatoes
at the store so divided the bag in half.
Half for the soup and the other remaining 5 
will be used for baked potatoes.
I got some french onion dip and 
spinach dip that was on sale for a dollar
and plan to use those on top of them
as a side with supper one day this week.


Power company out front and back disconnecting
wires and such.  It would be nice to know that
they were shutting off power this time
of day as I was cutting up ham into cubes for supper
and getting ready to make soup.
Looks like they are replacing the lines on our 
neighbor's house since his old line is hanging
in our yard along along with a new one running from
our front yard, across our fence and into our
backyard to the telephone pole.
I think the neighbor gave up on keeping his
house up to par.  He's had lines from cable and what
not hanging down in his yard into trees for a long time
now.  He's also got a chain link fence tore down and
laying in the alley way he's done nothing with.
We're lucky if he mows his grass.
He does nothing about weeds and leaves
that's why we have to constantly trim
them back off our fence they are so overgrown.
We'd go over there and see if he'd let us cut them
all down along his side of the fence but it does
make for some privacy from his yard.
You ought to see his air conditioning unit.
I don't know how it runs in the hot weather
because it's surrounded by leaf build up
on all sides.  Gutters are falling off the back of his house
and when it rains it kinda floods areas of the yard.
I'm sure that doesn't do any justice for our basement
walls.  In that corner of our basement nearest
his house where the gutters are falling off,
if it rains hard then we start getting water coming
in on our breaker box and leaking into
the basement.



I'm making Apple Pie Biscuits for brunch/breakfast.
I tweaked the recipe some.
I used 2 cans of smaller biscuits because
that's what I had in the fridge needing used up.
I doubled the cinnamon sugar recipe because of 
doubling the biscuits.
And I also made this in a casserole dish
instead of an iron skillet.
Instead of making the powdered sugar glaze
I'm using leftover cream cheese frosting
melted in the microwave and drizzled over top.



For a simple lunch today I made up 4 bags
of ramen noodles, added 2 packets creamed
chicken and 1 roast chicken flavoring
and a can of drained tuna fish.

Saturday, December 28, 2013



This morning I made egg sandwiches.
It was a luxury this morning because
last night hubby found some packages of 
bacon in the freezer I had forgot about.
So we had bacon and egg sandwiches, YUMMY!
That's just as good as eating steak lol.
Bacon is $5 to $6 plus a pound so
it's not affordable to have around here.
The only reason I have a couple of packages left
is because I found them marked down to $2.19.
Very rare to find and when I saw them
I bought every package they had, about 4-5.

One thing we stretch around here is American cheese slices.
Everyone loves cheese here and it goes too fast.
My family puts it on everything.
When I make sandwiches (not including grilled cheese)
and they want cheese
everyone gets a half of a slice.
It's better than no cheese at all.


Me and hubby took a small Christmas gift over to
our neighbor who is 95 years old.
She's lived here since our houses were built
in 1958!
It's nice to remember our elders
and hear the stories they have to share.
She loved her little ceramic candle!
Instead of buying a real candle for it I got
her a package of battery operated tea light candles.
I could just envision at her age with health problems
her forgetting to blow out the candle and burning
the house down.  Gotta love those battery operated
candles!!  She lives by herself but her one son
comes over constantly to do things for her.
She was telling us that her family had disabled
her car so she couldn't drive anywhere.
She is upset because she can't drive to church
and it's only like a block away, a minute if that.
She was eyeballing and hinting to hubby
about looking at it to get it running again.
There had to of been a reason family did that
to her car and I don't think I want in the middle of that.


We had to run back to Kroger today because
stupid me forgot to get hot dogs and bologna
yesterday.  Plus I needed a bag of potatoes
because the last Kroger we went to was out of them.
I found marked down bacon bologna and instead
of hot dogs I found marked down cheese smoked sausages.
They were all about $1.50 each.
Then I went looking at pork roasts which I still
think are too high priced.
$15 to $30, I don't think so.
So I ran across a package of boneless pork ribs
for $3.29 for 3.13 pounds.
That's more my speed.
Plus I got a package of sauerkraut.

I checked out all the Christmas mark downs.
I have been in search of some LED lights
to help cut back the electric bill at Christmas time.
I haven't had any luck finding them after Christmas
in the past years.
It's a splurge for me at the moment but might
as well grab some now instead of paying
full price.  They were $10 marked down to $3.60,
21.5 feet per box.
Enough to go along our back fence.
I'd think they'd more than pay for themselves next Christmas.

I'd still like to find some LED icicle lights for the front
of the house and a couple white strands
for our Christmas tree.
I've been reading on boxes of LED lights that they
can save you 70 to 95% compared to regular
Christmas lights.  I'm all for that!
HERE is a comparison of regular Christmas lights
and using LED lights, what the wattage is
and about how much it would cost
per Christmas season.

I am also on the hunt for Christmas baking, cooking and
food items marked down.
The only thing I've found so far of interest is
a chocolate Christmas bakery cake.
I don't care what decorations are on it.
It all tastes the same and chocolate is chocolate lol.
It was originally $10 marked down to $2.49.
I would love to find marked down food items
from Thanksgiving and Christmas like
stuffing, gravy, cake mixes, frosting, cookies,
cool whip, rolls, etc etc.

Thursday, December 26, 2013



We had a very nice Christmas with family!
Today me and hubby are waking up with aches and pains.
I had to get up out of bed early this morning because
my back and body was hurting.
Hubby is still in bed with a couple of heating pads
saying his body is hurting also.
Last night I got sick because of acid
reflux not allowing me to sleep too well.
Well at least we survived and made it through Christmas.
It's been a struggle but we did it somehow.


I took down all indoor Christmas decorations and the tree.
It's been a rough Christmas, Fall & Winter for us just trying to get
by and we are so glad it's over with and don't
need the daily reminder of it for the next week.
Between sickness, hubby missing a week of work due to his back,
me having 2 hospital stays and
trying to stretch a penny as far as it will go,
I am so done with this year and look forward
to getting back on our feet the best we can next year.
As much as I hate to say it but I am going
to see if we can get help from the hospital
with my hospital bills and then I might
see if we can qualify for food stamps
once I get enough money to round up to get
our important paperwork like SS cards 
and birth certificates because I have misplaced them.
Birth certificates cost around $27 a person
to replace so that adds up.
Next year our health insurance is going up even
more so that alone will be a struggle to cover those costs.


Sitting here making out a menu and a grocery list
for the next week.  It's still slim pickings when
it comes to money and the budget at the moment
so have to come up with some really cheap meals.
Right now I have kids home on Christmas break
and hubby home for one week during Christmas
and off New Year's day.
So that means extra food for extra meals.


Days 1 - 2. Cereal
3. Pancakes
4.  Muffins
5 - 6. Egg sandwiches
7.  Pumpkin bread
8.  Skillet apple pie biscuits


1 - 2. Hot dogs 
3 - 4. Tuna ramen noodles 
5 - 6.  Grilled cheese & chicken noodle soup
7.  Bologna sandwiches


1.  Deer stew with potatoes, gravy & carrots.
2.  Beef (deer) noodles with gravy & mushrooms.
3.  Ham & potato soup
4.  Breakfast casserole (potatoes, ground sausage, eggs & cheese)
5.  Fried Italian sausage & potatoes with cheddar cheese
6.  Hamburgers & french fries
7.  Sloppy joes & tater tots
8.  Chicken nuggets & seasoned curly fries.
and if we can afford it...
pork roast & saurkraut.


1. Chips with dip
2.  Cookies made from scratch
(I have all the ingredients from where I just
quit baking for Christmas)
3.  Pumpkin bread


Just back from the grocery store.
We spent $65 for the next week or so for a family of 4
to get everything needed for the above meals.
This also included pop, beer, styrofoam plates and I got
a bag of cinnamon pine cones marked down.
Kroger has Christmas items marked down 70% off
and toys marked down to 50% off.
I was hoping to find some pork roast on sale
for New Years but didn't.  Maybe this coming
week they'll go on sale.
Gotta have some pork and sauerkraut.
I need all the luck we can get!
Oh, would you believe that Kroger
was out of eggs and potatoes??!!
Shelves were bare!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013



I am up why?!
My body is aching.  My shoulders 
started to hurt a couple days ago 
and I woke up coughing due to acid reflux.
I got up and jumped on Facebook.  
Wouldn't ya know it I have groups
on their associated with Crohn's Disease
and the topic of the morning is about C. Diff.
what the hospital diagnosed me with having.
They posted a link about what it is if
anyone wants to read about it...


Yup, still up.  This ought to make
for an interesting day.  With my sickness and all
I haven't been doing very good with my baking
other than pumpkin bread.  Everything else
has been a flop.  I get started baking then in the
middle of it all I want to go lay down and rest.
My mind and body is just not in a baking mood.
I still want to get some baked goods out to
neighbors and friends so took a cheater approach
to getting some baked things made.
Remember me telling y'all I picked up a bunch
of packages of peanut butter cookies
at Big Lots for .10 cents a pack?
Well those are going on the cookie plates I'm making.
I jazzed them up this morning with some chocolate fudge
frosting and Christmas sprinkles trying
to make them look somewhat homemade.
It'll have to do for now because 
I still don't feel the greatest.
Better than before though.

And if I have time today I might work
on Somoa cookies.  Those shouldn't be too hard to
mess up.  Toast some coconut, melt some caramel,
milk and vanilla in a saucepan, stir in coconut
and put them on fudge striped cookies.
Another cheater recipe of mine that is
somewhat homemade and has become
a tradition to make each year.
During my first batch of making them for hubby's work
I had bought some caramels from Dollar Tree.
Don't make the same mistake I made by
doing that.  It took me over an hour to 
remove the wrappers from one bag of those caramels!
Either buy the good caramels from the store
or do as I did, I found a 6 pound bucket
of caramel at Kroger marked down
from $10 to $5.00!
That has been a lifesaver.
No more unwrapping caramels for me thank you!

I scoop out what I need (it's very thick)
and melt it in a saucepan with a little milk.
I have used it on my pumpkin bread as drizzle
and will use for cookies next.
This stuff should last me quite awhile.


I laid back down about 6:00am
to 10:30am then had to get up and
go to Kroger for some drinks.
It's brrrrr outside.  It's 16 degrees out
with a 1 degree wind chill.
I made the comment to hubby that
Ohio weather can go from 0-70 (degrees)
in 2.5 days.


I have started wrapping the kids gifts.
If I am able to accomplish this today it will
be the first time ever that we've gotten all the gifts
wrapped before midnight on Christmas eve!
It would be nice for just once to be
able to go to bed at a reasonable hour
the night before Christmas.

Monday, December 23, 2013


7:30am - 8:25am

I've been feeling tired these last couple of days
trying to lay down and take naps when I can
to get rested to get things done for Christmas.
The shakiness sort of went away but I feel
weaker than normal which I guess is understandable
when your body is fighting an infection.
The main thing is that I try to keep going
to make this Christmas happen.
Yesterday I had my mother and father-in-law
along with my nephew come over for a Christmas visit.
My nephew has never been to our home
so that was a nice surprise.
I think he's around 19 years old.
We exchanged gifts but the adults all decided
we wouldn't open them til Christmas day.

I baked a ham yesterday just so we'd have something
to munch on a couple days before Christmas for meals.
We bought this ham and ended up getting
a second ham from hubby's supervisor at work
which is brining and will be made Christmas day.
The first brined ham turned out really good.
I was going to add seasoning and a glaze on top
but thought it tasted just fine the way it was
so skipped that part.

Today is my baking day.
So far I have made rice krispies fudge
and dough to make jam thumbprint cookies.
This dough has to be in the fridge a couple
of hours before baking.
Then I still have somoa cookies,
oatmeal chocolate chip cookies
and my pumpkin bread needs it's drizzled tops put on.

Here's my rice krispie fudge cooling.
Instead of making just regular fudge I try
to stretch what I have further to make more
by adding things like cereal or marshmallows.

Hubby finds pots and pans at work that we at times
take to the scrap metal place.
This time around he found a nice, heavy duty,
aluminum cookie sheet.  I salvaged it from
the scrap pile and kept it to bake on.
My pans take a beating with all the cooking
and baking I do so it's nice to have a newer one.
I see them use these type of pans on the Food channel.

Whelp it's almost 9:00am and I'm ready to go
lay back down for a few.
The tiredness becomes overwhelming at times
even after just sleeping the night or after taking naps.


Got up from my nap around 11:30am.
It seemed to of helped for the moment.
Got a piece of ham to eat and are now taking
all my meds for the first go round today.
Now I've got a tray of raspberry thumbprint cookies
baking in the oven.

Saturday, December 21, 2013



Got up around 7am which to me is like sleeping
in considering I get up at 5:30am each week day.
Took one of my antibiotics with about a half doughnut
and it still made me feel weird, a little woozy/lightheaded.
Even though I'm not hungry after that first doughnut
I am now trying to eat a second one
just to get over the side affects of that pill.
I'm done taking my Prednisone which is a steroid
thank goodness.  Prednisone can interrupt your sleep
and make you want to eat all the time.
Now I just have 2 antibiotics and my Crohn's med to take.


Went to the scrap metal place and made $82.
Every little bit helps out right now!
From there we went to the thrift store and
amazingly we got our Christmas shopping DONE!!!
I got the boys each 2 pairs of pants,
2 shirts, 4 pairs of undies and one sports jacket.
Then we searched for a couple of gifts for the
in-laws.  Would you believe I found a
Garmin GPS for only $6.96 for them!!
I plugged it in my truck and it actually works!!
Thank God because I never know what to
get my in-laws.  This should work out
good for them because they like to travel and have an RV.

Then I found mom a Taste of Home
binder cookbook.  She likes Taste of Home
and has a collection of their cookbooks.
I'm pretty sure this cookbook alone
cost $50 when it first came out.
I paid $3.93 for it.


I'm still feeling jittery/weak and have all day
since yesterday.
I don't know how to explain how I feel.
I hope it goes away but it's been going on two days now.
I don't need anymore problems right now!!


I am trying to figure out why I am feeling the way I do.
It doesn't makes sense to be feeling fine 
for about 5 days then start feeling weird for the next two
with shakiness, somewhat tired, feeling lightheaded and so on.
So I got to wondering if I may have mixed up
my one antibiotic with my pain meds
which sit next to one another on the counter.
Both pills look very similar.
It's a possibility.  I thought I was very careful to
read the bottles before taking any meds.
I have now put my pain meds away from my
daily meds so there is no mix up.
Time will tell if I start to feel a little more normal.

I had been reading about making a
flower pot heater to help warm a single room.
You know me I'm always thinking about
ways of cutting back utilities where I can.
Well I never got around to making one but
today in the thrift store I found this candle thingy
made from what appears to be terra cotta.
It's about the width of a large saucer.
All their Christmas items were 50% off so I got
it for $1.50.  I decided to give this a trial run today
on top of one of my large candles
to see if it would keep the room warm.
It got to around 60 degrees outside with pouring rain
and we had a couple of windows open,
fans running and the heat turned off.
I had this candle lit with this topper on
for most of the afternoon and into the evening.
My combined living, dining and kitchen
room temperatures got to 76 degrees.
Was it the candle making heat?
I can't really say at the moment
considering the temperatures outside
but to me it looked good.  We'll have to try
it out on a much colder day.

I wrapped a bunch of presents today.
Some I wished I had boxes for to make
wrapping easier.
I didn't want to run out and buy any gift boxes
or bags and spend more money and the option
of looking for little boxes in dumpsters behind
stores today in the rain wasn't possible
so that's when I came up with this next idea.
I had an OSU gift I was giving the in-laws
that was an oddball shape to wrap. 
I put it in a scarlet and gray pillow case
and used that as the gift bag and tied
it up with some pretty ribbon at the top.
Cheap pillow cases are around .39 cents
at the thrift store.  Cheaper than
a dollar store gift bag and your recipient
gets more than one gift with the extra pillow case.