Friday, June 24, 2022

Laura Lately ~ A Thrifty Week at Harvest Lane Cottage #178

Sometimes life can be a bit of a tangle.
Don't give up! Just work it out knot by knot.

Hello everyone,

 I'm keeping this week's post simple. I'm fighting a headache again, and just needed to get it done. ~smile~ I apologize for the lack of photos. The one above is some yarn a friend gave me recently. I plan to make a pair of shorty socks with it. 

 It seems everywhere I look that I'm seeing, hearing, or reading about the anxiety folks are feeling over what could happen in the next few months. I've never been a prepper—mostly because I've not had extra to prep with. Nevertheless, I am going to try to be more intentional about doing what I can with what I've got where I am. Perhaps you're in the same situation. Just because we cannot do a lot does not mean we should not do what we can. I'm feeling convicted about that just now. 

In the Kitchen

  • I stirred up a sourdough starter on Monday. I've been feeding it all week—morning and evening. I've named it Doughy. I'm learning! I hope I can make some pancakes or waffles next week sometime. I've heard it has to be a few weeks old before I can make bread.
  • We enjoyed Countrytime Lemonade from a mix my husband won as part of a lemon themed gift basket. The basket also had some pretty cups and a lemon covered tablecloth. He put the black tote in his car to keep little things corralled.
  • I put a baked chicken carcass in the freezer to make soup later. 
  • I sliced up the last of the pork steaks and put leftover bbq sauce on it. There's enough for a couple of good sized bbq pork sandwiches later. It's awaiting a meal for two in the freezer.
  • I also started a dump stew container in the freezer. I'm putting leftover veggies and such in it. It is for beef or venison stew. I used a Blue Bunny ice cream container. When it's full, I'll make an interesting soup. 


  • Saturday we ate bison burgers. They were a gift from a friend.
  • Sunday My husband smoked the pork steaks that my son bought on sale for $1.99 lb. We ate corn on the cob with the pork.
  • Monday I made a thrifty favorite from my kids' childhood. Tamale pie. It's a pound of hamburger made into taco meat. I added the corn from 3 cobs that were leftover and a small can of green chiles. This went into a 8x8 casserole with a batch of scratch cornbread batter poured over the top. I baked it for about 30 minutes until golden. Yum.
  • Tuesday my husband and I went out for dinner. We got queso and one dinner and shared it.
  • Wednesday I made chili in the crock pot. Yep. We eat chili year round here. I used one pound of hamburger, a can of diced tomatoes a friend gave me, a can of tomato sauce, an onion, and four cans of chili beans that we bought at Aldi to stock the pantry.
  • Thursday my daughter, Emily, made a chicken stir-fry. My husband and I ate at a business after hours at a ribbon cutting event.
  • Friday night was macaroni and tomatoes with hamburger left over from the chili Wednesday.

In the Bathroom
  • I refilled our little soap dispenser with some body wash my dad gave us and topped it off with water to thin it down. I shook it up, and it is working fine.
  • I squeezed every bit of toothpaste I could out of the tube for replacing it.

In the Workbasket
  • I'm knitting socks for gifts. There are four men in my life and all have size 13 feet. How'd that happen? I finished knitting my daughter's Christmas socks. I just need to weave in the ends.
  • I'm collecting things that need to be mended—everything from our kitten's toy mouse to my husband's suit jacket. It's about time to mend towels again, too. 

Books and Such
  • I reviewed a book, Midnight's Budding Morrow, that I received free for review.
  • I am now reading The Songs That Could Have Been by Amanda Wen. Click here to enter the giveaway. It's a free review book, too. 
  • I am listening to a few books on Scribd including Spanish Verb Conjugation, The Art of Neighboring, Hand Made, and The Five Second Rule.
  • I've listened to music and homemaking videos for free on YouTube. I especially like Mrs. Lydia Sherman and Inspired by Nikki.

Out and About

  • I received a box in the mail filled with yarn in fall colors. Thank you Ellie! She included some peppermint tea (I was out) and lemonade mixes as well. It was joy-ful.
  • I saw one of my little students at Walmart. I said her name, and she came right to me and hugged me and kissed my cheek. I quickly told her grandma that I was one of her teachers. It was joy-ful!
I close with a quote from a Thrifty Week post from 2016:

"I cannot stress enough how important it is to save for rainy days. I am a squirrel. I have been squirreling a little money here and there as it comes to me for years. It's been very helpful in this time of unemployment. Even if you can only save a few dollars or even a few cents, please do it. It's the only reason we've still got money after no income for two months. The other thing I had was some food in the freezer. 

Prepare while you can ladies!"

I wish you all well ladies, do what you can with what you've got where you are! 

Blessings from Harvest Lane Cottage, 



Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Hello Everyone! It Feels Like Summer!

 Hello everyone! 

I hope you are all enjoying the season whether it is summer or winter in your neck of the woods. This past week has felt more like summer to me with daytime temperatures in the nineties. The wind is whispering through the trees that bless us with their shade just as they should this time of year.

For now, enjoy a little end of week reading!

Apple Crazy Cake ~ No Butter, Eggs, Milk, or Mess! by Jes at Strangers and Pilgrims on Earth

Bacon Broccoli Cheddar Soup by me

My mending pile is growing again!

A Stitch in Time Saves Nine by me

Don't forget to enter the giveaway for The Songs That Could Have Been by Amanda Wen. 

I hope to try the Apple Crazy Cake soon. It looks delicious. Don't miss the Christmas in July  post for some great ideas to help you get ready for the holidays now. Yes now! 



Sunday, June 19, 2022

Midnight's Budding Morrow

Sarah Drayton is eager to spend time with her best friend at her crumbling Northumberland castle estate. Yet she finds herself being inveigled into a marriage of convenience with her friend's rakish brother.

When James Langley returns to his family's estate, he can't be bothered to pay attention to his responsibilities as the heir. But his roguish ways have backed him into a corner, and he has little choice but to obey his father's stunning decree: marry before returning to war, or else. Suddenly he finds himself wedded to a clever and capable woman he does not love.

Sarah craves love and a place to belong, neither of which James offered. Now everyone around her thinks she married above her station, and they have no intention of rewarding her for such impertinence. It isn't until her husband returns from war seemingly changed that she begins to hope they may find real happiness. But can she trust that this rake has truly reformed?

When tragedy strikes, this pair must learn to trust God and his plans. Will they be destroyed . . . or will they discover that even in the darkest depths of night, the morning still holds hope? 

My thoughts:

Midnight's Budding Morrow had a slow start for me, but I found that, as I continued, I began to be intrigued by the characters. Soon, I was returning to the story over and over whenever I could make time. The thoughts of both Sarah and James were shared, so a bit of the inner turmoil gave meaning to their struggles. While it wasn't light, happy reading, it was at times suspenseful and sprinkled with happy moments. Each was dealing with their own deep issues and hurts that they carried into the marriage. 

I enjoyed watching the characters develop. It seemed that nearly all of the characters changed in some way in the course of the novel even some of the background characters.

I found the storyline to be fresh. I've not read this plot before. I found myself liking both Sarah and James in different ways while being very frustrated with some of the other people.

I think ladies who enjoy reading novels with a lot of psychological things taking place will especially like this book. I did enjoy it myself. It was a clean book. No bad language. No s--. No descriptive violence. The influence of God, salvation, His forgiveness, and the changes that come to a believer were expressed through the story well.

Because I was behind on my deadline, I decided to listen to this book on my Scribd app. I'm so glad I did. Sometimes, listening makes all the difference. The interpretation of the novel was excellent.

★★★★      I really liked it.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s  “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

I use the Goodreads star system.
★               Did not like it
★★            It was okay
★★★         Liked it
★★★★      Really liked it
★★★★★   It was amazing

Carolyn Miller is an inspirational romance author who lives in the beautiful Southern Highlands of New South Wales, Australia, with her husband and four children.
A longtime lover of romance, especially that of Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer’s Regency era, Carolyn holds a BA in English literature and loves drawing readers into fictional worlds that show the truth of God’s grace in our lives. She enjoys music, films, gardens, art, travel, and food.

Miller’s novels have won a number of RWA and ACFW contests. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Australasian Christian Writers. 
Learn more about Carolyn at, or find her on Facebook (Carolyn Miller Author)Instagram (@CarolynMillerAuthor), and Twitter (@CarolynMAuthor)

Saturday, June 11, 2022

Laura Lately ~ A Thrifty Week at Harvest Lane Cottage #177

Hello everyone! Just thought I'd share a bit of my week and include the thrifty things we did. I may go back to the old way of writing my thrifty week posts, but right now, I just need to keep things simple. I hope you don't mind. Lots of crazy going on all around me, but God is helping me to keep peaceful about it all. I've told my friend, Beth, that I feel like I'm on an island of calm in the midst of a sea of turmoil and craziness. I am careful how much news I take in. If I focus too much on the "out there", I will become anxious and lose my peace. I can only do what I can do and pray about the "out there".  

So, here is my week. The photos are all from an unplanned mini road trip we took Friday afternoon.


I looked carefully at the things available for purchase at my local Aldi. I bought only enough produce to last a few days. Lately, fresh produce hasn't been used up as well as it should. I'm home! I can get back to my thrifty ways bit by bit. 

I purchased a box of strawberries for $1.99. It was a sale price. I want to be sure they're good strawberries before I buy several boxes for jam.

My daughter, Emily, and I sorted through several cabinets, drawers and shelves that I had dishes and such in. Some things I kept, some went to each of my daughters, some will be sold by my husband, and some will go to the thrift store. We decided we didn't want the extra work of a yard sale. 

We also emptied a glassed cabinet in the hallway and found it perfect for our games. We hope we'll play more if they are visible. 

Burritos with leftover refried beans from Sunday's supper for lunch.

I made a roast with potatoes and carrots and onions. My dad gave me the roast when I visited a few weeks ago. 


We sorted through two big bags of acrylic yarn a friend gave to me. Thank you Jill! I'm keeping some for charity hats. Emily's keeping some for projects. The remainder is going to Emily's friend who crochets for therapy.  

Tuesday evening I went knitting with friends. I'm working on a sock that will be joined by another to make a gift for a man in the family. Size 13 shoes!

Burritos or sandwiches for lunch

Emily made over the leftover potatoes, carrots, and gravy into stew and added browned ground venison for the meat.


I went to Walmart. Gasp! I've probably only done that  a couple of times in the past year. I needed some colorful t-shirts to go with my skirts. Believe it or not, there was not one plain colored t-shirt in the store in my size! I was truly surprised and disappointed. 

I put the rest of the refried beans that Emily made Sunday night into a freezer bag and froze them. 

I ate a bowl of the stew for lunch then put the rest in a leftover plastic ice cream container. I'll add leftover veggies to it until I have enough to make a small pot of soup.

Emily helped me sort through the three big drawers that I keep bed linens in. They are now sorted by size. King sized sheets and pillow cases are now in the top drawer.  The middle drawer has the full sized sheets and pillow cases. The bottom drawer is empty save an extra mattress pad.

My husband and I went to a church rummage sale several weeks ago and bought a big box of white dishes. Emily helped me sort out the dishes. She will have a complete set of eight to begin housekeeping with when she moves out. Amy will have 12 plates, and four sets of tea cups and saucers. I've also been giving the girls the chance to keep anything that I'm discarding if they want it. 


Amy and her Dawson rearranged our living room furniture this morning to surprise me. They removed the rug and a large ottoman. It looks much larger and more inviting. 

I needed to call the State today. While waiting over two hours on hold, I just put my phone on speaker and got to work on a pile of paperwork that has piled up on my desk long enough that some of it was dusty! I had time to read manuals for my washer and dryer and check the maintenance needed for each. I also registered a couple of things with the companies online. Then it was sort sort sort and toss toss toss many papers and outdated items. I'm sorry to say that the job is not complete, but I'm over two hours closer than I was! I also began rearranging a recipe binder. That's a job I've needed to do for a long time, too. 

Tonight I'm going to join a new Bible study at another church. I met a lady over the weekend who invited me to join her while I was in Branson. She lives in my hometown, so I said yes. Guess what they'll be studying! Elijah by Priscilla Shirer! I get another chance to go through the study and complete it. Thank you Jesus! Tonight is the first night. Update: I felt like I belonged from the moment I walked in the door. I'm going to keep going.


On Friday morning, my daughter, Emily asked me to go garage saling. I set aside my plans and went with her. Who knows how long we have until she moves to Arkansas? We got breakfast at Sonic and began driving around talking. As it turned out, neither of us really wanted to stop at sales, we just wanted to talk about some of the big decisions Emily is making right now about her future. So, it was thrifty in that we didn't buy any junk we didn't need! ~smile~ Sometimes being thrifty is in what we don't do!

After we got home, my husband came home. He had decided to take the afternoon off and wanted me to go for a car ride with him. I know. It's $4.59 a gallon here in Southwest Missouri. Not thrifty, but this time it was therapy. He just needed to get away for awhile and be quiet. We drove through back roads and found ourselves in Northwest Arkansas. We drove through some neat towns. We drove and drove and drove and ended up in Oklahoma at  Dripping Springs Waterfall! It was our first time, and it was beautiful! It was well worth the $10 car admission. 


So here we are at Saturday again. I've just worked in the kitchen and relaxed a bit today. Now I've got chicken leg quarters (a gift from my son) boiling for chicken and dumplings. We'll use the broth and a bit of chicken tonight, but most of the chicken will be for tomorrow's dinner. 

I'd better go check on that chicken now!

I hope you've had a calm week. If the next week isn't calm, I hope you'll find a refuge of peace in Jesus. God bless you all!



 Be strong and courageous, do not give in to fear.
 This is the time to get in God's word and pray. 

God is ever good and ever faithful.
I've been through many tough times in my life. 
God never lets me down. 
I can trust Him. 
You can trust Him.

Blessed to be a blessing

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2022 18 Finished Books Goal 51
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