~ from my home to yours, living the Working Pantry lifestyle ~ surviving today's economy ~ a can-do spirit and attitude ~

Monday, April 15, 2024

A Journal of My Days: 4/15/24

The theme for this year is “Laser focused, hunkered down and spending as little money as possible.” 

(picture) Can you stand more iris pictures!  This one is growing at one end of our chicken coop ... I really do have flowers planted everywhere I can find a suitable spot on our property!  Their beauty just makes me smile!

In the Vegetable Garden:  It's been cool and windy since my last 'A Journal of My Days' post so I haven't gotten any gardening done.  

While doing a walk-through one day though, I did notice that my Roma paste tomatoes, that I planted a couple of weeks ago, are about finger high and that the cabbage seeds I planted a little earlier than the tomato seeds, are about 3 inches tall.  As soon as the weather warms up a bit, I'll get those planted.  This will be my second planting of cabbage.  As soon as I plant them, I'll start seeds for a third planting.  I think I can get 3 successions of cabbage planted and harvested before the miserably hot and humid weather gets here.

My sweet potato slips that I grew and planted around the same time as the cabbage and tomato plants, are doing well also!

I also harvested the first of our spring green onions from the garden this week.  They were so good!

In the Kitchen:   Hubby prepared and seasoned a whole rack of ribs.  He got up early one morning and put them in the oven in a big roasting pan covered with aluminum foil.  He set the oven at 45o degrees for one hour and then turned them down to 250 degrees and let them slow cook all day.  The house smelled so delicious within an hour of putting them in the oven.  By the time mealtime came around that afternoon, we were more than ready to dive in.  They were fork tender and absolutely delicious!  

Preparing and cooking ribs is one of my hubby's specialties and I have to say, he is really good at it!  Yum ... I can still remember how delicious they were!

We served the ribs with home-canned green beans and potatoes and pan-fried home-canned pears.

In the Pantry:  I got the blueberries all flash frozen and then bagged up.  I added 2 one-gallon bags of blueberries to the freezer portion of our pantry.  

The circle of restocking the larder for another year has started and it is a journey that brings great satisfaction to this heart of mine.

Health/Fitness:  I got back to my exercise routine this week.  It felt good to be able to get back to this habit.  

Thrifting, Bargain, and/or Loss Leader Shopping: We purchased some after Easter chocolate marked down to at least 50% off with some having a bigger discount.  We brought it home and either froze it or vacuum sealed it in a jar.  Chocolate comes in different forms ... peanut butter and chocolate eggs, peanut butter and chocolate mini cups, candy bars, m & m's, and peanut m & m's.  We are well stocked on chocolate for a while and yes, some of this will be used in baking.  

From my Sewing Nook:  No sewing this week!

Bible Study: I am up to chapter 18 in my efforts to write the whole book of Genesis.  There are so many spiritual nuggets in this the first book of the Bible that build the foundation for who we are and why we are here.  Writing out Scripture is such an easy way to slow ourselves down and 'study' God's Word.   Smile ... when we know what the Bible says and doesn't say, we are more equipped to recognize false teaching.  Writing out scriptures is one way for us to learn what God's Word says ... we're not just reading or listening to what someone else says God's Word says.  Sadly, what God's word says and what someone may say God's Word says can be totally different.  It's our responsibility to know what God's Word says and that comes from studying it ourselves.  Writing out Scripture is an easy way to do that.

In the Flower Garden:  I promise, I'm going to get those flower seeds planted as soon as possible!  I'm ready ... now, if the weather will just cooperate!

In the Herb Garden:  I harvested oregano, dried it and started the process of making oregano oil for making salves and other herbal remedies.

Continuing Education/Skills:  I watched this video on making cayenne pain relief salve.  I've done quite a bit of research on cayenne salve, and I think I'm ready to give it a try.

What I'm Reading:  I started reading The Heirloom by Beverly Lewis on Libby the Library app.  I couldn't decide by reading the back cover if I had read this book before, I usually can, but this one I couldn't.  There was a good reason, once I started reading it, I knew that I hadn't read it before.  Do you ever do that, forget if you've read a book before or not?  Please tell me I'm not the only one!

This week’s frugal quote/discussion topic …  Frugality has the ability to center a person financially and help them focus on what is most important!  Do you agree or disagree?  What are your thoughts?

That’s it for this week, what has your week looked like? 

until next time,

mrs. patsi @ A Working Pantry

She looketh well to the ways of her household … Proverbs 31:27 

Sharing 44 years' experience of frugal, prudent living and pantry building 

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  1. Love iris and your posts!

  2. Good morning, Patsy! Not only do I forget I’ve read books, but I quickly forget the plot once I’ve read them! This was particularly challenging in high school when we had extensive summer reading lists!

    And no, thee can never be too many pictures of your flowers! I have a few roses blooming. They are incredibly beautiful and fragrant. I share pictures of them with everyone!!

    We have our garden prepped for planting, but it’s a busy week for hubby at work and I am traveling this week. Looking forward to getting home and getting soil under my nails! 😂 Best wishes for a great week, everyone!

    1. That makes me feel better about my 'forgetfulness' when it comes to reading! I just love the feel of garden soil under my nails!!! Have a great week!

  3. What a busy week you had! I have been doing yard work and getting things cleaned up and ready for planting. Working on de-cluttering, and found some clothes I forgot about while getting rid of things. Using what I have. Have a blessed week.

    1. Cheryl, you've had another busy week! I like what you said 'using what I have,' that really is a major component of being frugal!

  4. Question. What got you started in writing books of scripture? That’s really interesting.

    1. Lee Ann, My first experience with writing Scripture was about 15 or so years ago. I had never thought of it, but have always been interested in different methods of Bible study. So, when Scripture writing was suggested to me, I tried it and liked it very much. I wrote the book of James and Proverbs and then moved on to other methods. About 3 - 4 years ago, a couple of ladies I am acquainted with started a FB group for the purpose of writing Scriptures and I joined in. The rest is history!

  5. Not only do I start books I have read but we often begin a movie and then realize we have seen it. Ribs in the oven are the best! We do them that way, too.

    Hubby came in from the freezer one day early in the week and told me that the pork basket was empty except 2 pork chops and 2 really small racks of ribs. He had not realized it since there were some nonpork items that had been stored there. When the ads came out on Wednesday there were pork chops for 1.98# and whole pork Boston Butts at another store for .99#. So we stocked up and have five meals of pork chops and 2 roasts cut from the Boston Butt for very little money.

    Friday morning I saw a promising downsize house online and we took ourselves out to do a ride by. What a beautiful neighborhood and the house was so lovely and the yard just picture perfect. We set up a time for viewing it on Saturday. All the nice of that house was on the street side. The siding all around the sides and back was rotten and the inside was even worse. I have never seen such dirty and stained carpet and it needed work everywhere we looked. But, the most weird thing was that the owner was in a back room hiding out in a mask. This was CREEPY!! We did one more drive by and now feel like God said no once again. Our neighbor who lost his job starts a new one today and he will be 2 hours away during the week for a year. It would be so hard for them if we moved away since we are kind of like their parents two doors down. But, it is okay. When it is time God will make a way and have the perfect place for us. We will do the best we can here for now. (And I am so happy I don't have to manage a move!!)

    Our kids had told us that we had to make a plan for my care if Hubby ends up in the hospital again. Our dear friends who we small group with have agreed to come and stay with me and care for me in that event. This is a huge relief to have a plan.

    So ends a week with way too much go, go, go and too many fast food meals grabbed in a hurry. Most were for very cheap but yuck that gets old in a hurry. I am ready for a slower week and home food!

    1. Lana, we do that with movies too!!! LOL, we might as well laugh about it, these golden years sure are full of things to laugh about, if one chooses to look at it that way!

      I'm so glad you have a plan for your care if your hubby winds up in the hospital again. God is good, isn't HE!

      I agree about fast food, nothing beats homemade meals and snacks, in my opinion and since getting food poisoning, I'm really cautious about eating out period!

  6. Love the Iris pic, Patsy. Congratulations on your seed sprouting and first harvest of spring onions, as well as oregano! I'm anxious to start a potted garden of mainly herbs and a few veggies. We've still had frost in the morning, but the coming week should bring high temps in the 70s. So glad you had a very productive week.

    "Frugality has the ability to center a person financially and help them focus on what is most important! Do you agree or disagree? What are your thoughts?" I agree and would add it helps to center a person emotionally and spiritually. Life can be messy and stressful. My 91 yr. old mom (who has been in memory care for Alzheimer's for a few months) fell on Saturday, breaking a leg in three places. My sister contacted me from the hospital. Barely over 80 lbs., she survived the surgery yesterday. Thanks be to God! Here's an example to illustrate your point:

    *my mother's financial picture is able to cover $7k per month for memory care + whatever Medicare won't cover for this emergency

    *my sister, always frugal (and who has POA) is on top of it all and able to stay at the hospital with her

    *our own current finances and frugal living mean we can hop in the car at a moment's notice and make the 2 day drive from where we are

    *being financially stable means the whole family can trust God, deal with immediate needs, and have some peace of mind

    Hope that helps someone going through a family crisis. If you have financial stress, please stick with your goals. It isn't easy, yet it can make all the difference down the road and is so worth it. --Elise

    1. I'm sorry about your Mom and I will praying for her recovery. My Mom broke a hip in Memory Care so I am feeling it. I agree about the finances. Mom had the money for her Memory Care facility as well because my Dad had been a saver. I am glad you are in a place where you can go to visit at a moments notice.

    2. So sorry your mom had to go through that Elise. Prayers for her recovery.

    3. Elise, that is a good example of what I was trying to get across. Your example said it way better than I did. Thank you for sharing.

      I have prayed for your mother; I hope she makes a speedy recovery.

  7. I agree with the frugality quote. I don’t like to make one size fits all statements about some topics but being frugal and content helps us to focus on what’s important.

    1. Lee Ann, it eliminates the 'noise' doesn't it!

  8. One of the benefits of getting older and forgetful, for me at least, is being able to read some of my favorite books again for the first time!

    1. BaggysMama, I chuckled when I read your comment ... YES!

  9. Patsi, I really agree with the frugality quote. Being centered and knowing what's important has so many benefits not the least of which is being able to handle those bumps in the road that occur in our lives. We got a lot done last week around the house and garden. Today I planted 4 more rerooted onions in containers. We had yearly physicals and dental appointments. Our physician is always so amazed at our good health Dental report was excellent as well. Started reading series by Ginny Dye called the Bregdan Chronicles. It begins with the rumors and lead up to South Carolina seceding from the Union and continues in different volumes following the characters familiesinto the 20th century. If you like historic novels this is definitely a winner. Our exercise consists of going out for walks when weather permits . We eat all of our meals at home and continue with intermittant fasting. Life is good. Cookie

    1. Cookie, I checked on Libby for the Bregdan series and they don't have it! Bummer, I do enjoy historic novels.

      I'm glad you both got good reports from the doctor. What you're doing is obviously working, it sounds like you've found what works for you.

      I'm working on getting our summer garden planted a little every day ... our weather is warming up. Yesterday, our high was 89 and today was about the same. I worked in the garden during the morning hours and headed in in the afternoon.