Friday, May 31, 2013

A Thrifty Week #7

I cannot honestly say that this was a frugal week.  We had car expenses, we had to replace all the hens we lost to wild dogs with new chicks, we had a doctor bill, a computer repair.  In other words, life happened.  Fortunately, we had money in the bank to cover the extra expenses.  The next couple of weeks need to be extra thrifty to make up for these extra expenses.

That said, here's our thrifty week at Harvest Lane Cottage:

~ We bought a like-new trampoline for the children at a yard sale.  This was an answer to Amy's prayers and saving.  We all pitched in.  $100!
~ We spent Memorial Day afternoon with family at our creek instead of traveling or going to the pool.
~ We started listening to a set of history CDs called Hero Tales that I received for free for review.
~ I did not take our planned trip to the library, so I saved about $10 in gas.
~ Emily made a pair of palazzo pants into coulottes.
~ I made cream of mushroom soup from a gigantic Chicken of the Woods mushroom that a friend gave to us.  It was delicious.
~ We ate dinner at church before service Wednesday.
~ I stayed home and did not spend money. ~smile~

May I suggest?

A Breezy Afternoon on the Porch

Iced tea, fudgy homemade brownies, flowers, a nice breeze, and good friends.  A little talk of curriculum, flowers, weather, church, Michigan, cooking, chickens, ducks, dogs, cats, and children.  A wonderful way to relax and enjoy a Friday afternoon on the porch.  Thanks for a terrific afternoon, Kerri!

Loving my Life,
May I suggest?

Make Do and Mend May

Make Do and Mend!

Keeping a family in clothing isn't always easy.  Many folks use credit cards to keep their kiddos covered.  I depend on gifts, hand-me-downs, yard sales, thrift shops, and my sewing skills. 

This month I've mended:

3 pairs of jeans
1 pair of dress slacks
1 pair of shorts
1 skirt
1 pair Crocs shoes

I have also cut up clothes for rags.

We've made do by going to thrift stores and yard sales to supplement my children's clothing.

*Make Do and Mend is available through Amazon.  I am no longer an affiliate.

May I suggest?

My Baby Girl My Big Girl Amy



Her Blog

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Such a Lovely Rainy Afternoon....

Such a Lovely Rainy Afternoon we're having....

I do love a rainy day.  After the drought we've had for the last two years since the tornado, our flowers, grass and trees are thriving with all the rain we've had recently.  With the tornado in Moore, it would be easy to give in to fear every time the thunder rumbles.  I choose to trust in the Lord's protection.  When the weather report looks fearful, I plead the blood of Jesus over my family, our home, my son's home, my mother-in-love's home, the Joplin area, and the four-states.  I tell the wind and the lightening to stay up in the clouds and give us only good rain and good wind, not stormy wind.  It's all in the Name of Jesus Christ.  I also pray for peace for those who were affected by the tornado who may be feeling fear.  This is how I am dealing with my fear when it comes up.  I meet it with faith in God and His protection.

I've a nice chicken roasting in a clay pot in the oven.  I read for a little while today.  I'm not reviewing this book.  It's one I bought myself.  I'm just a little ways into it.  It's a big thick book.  I think it's going to take me awhile.
I'm going to put a load of laundry in the washer in a few minutes.  Then, I'll take a peek at our little peepers.

We've had them since Saturday.  Black Australorpes and Dominiques.

I hope these little pullets are all hens that keep us in lots and lots of eggs next year.

Now, I'd better go and get busy.  There are potatoes to peel and veggies to prepare for dinner.  Oh, and a little sibling squabble to check on. ~smile~  Such is motherhood.

Blessings from Harvest Lane Cottage,
Happy at Home

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Friday, May 24, 2013

A Thrifty Week #6

Nothing exciting going on this week in the thrifty department.  We're done with our school for a few weeks.  We're officially on break until the end of June; but, there are a few things that the kids will be working on.  Math is always something to keep up as is Bible reading.

Since I've had more time this week, we've been doing extra cleaning around the house.  Things are beginning to look quite nice again.  Slowly, it's actually getting clean instead of picked up.  I don't spring clean, because we're always busy with school in the spring.  Some of those things are getting done now. Today is our 27th wedding anniversary.  Twenty-seven years, where have the years gone?  Oh, yes, dishes, laundry, rearing children, homeschooling, Joplin tornado recovery....

So, here's my thrifty week....
~ A morning of yard saling yielded a couple of brand new dress shirts for my son as well as some very nice clothing for all three of my children at home.  The prize was a very nice pair of suede fashion boots for my eleven year old.

~ An afternoon with the mending basket yielded a pair of jean shorts for my daughter and a denim skirt for me that are useful again.  I also hemmed a pair of jeans for my husband.  A shirt beyond repair was made into cleaning rags.

~ Just staying home saved gas and money this week.

~ Pretty bouquets of daisies adorn my tables.  The children found a patch in the field and filled vases and jars for me.  One of the things I love about living on the banks of Center Creek is the abundance of wildflowers in the fields.  Such a variety.  Last year I missed them.  It was so dry the flowers barely bloomed.  This year the flowers have loved all the rain.

~ Supper Tuesday was stir-fried greens that someone at the Farmers' Market gave to my husband at the end of the day.  I served cornbread with it.  As a reward to my children for not complaining, (I bribed them ahead of time), I made apple crisp with some canned pie filling my husband had bought a few weeks ago but didn't use.  The vanilla ice cream was not at all thrifty, but so yummy.  The canned pie filling was only thrifty as it fit into my plan to use up what we have in the house rather than buy groceries.  I've been doing this for a few weeks, buying fresh fruits, veggies, milk and little else that wasn't required.

~ Like the picture above?  It's a desktop wallpaper that is currently on my computer.  It's available from Gooseberry Patch for free.  Check out their terrific recipes and freebies.

May I suggest?

Marriage Advice from an Older Woman

We've been married 27 years today.  I wouldn't trade my man for anyone in the world.  It's been a rough ride at times, but we have taken it together.  I'm a blessed woman.

A couple of words of advice to young ladies who are married or engaged....

1) Promise each other that no matter how angry or frustrated you get with each other, you will NEVER say the D word. (d------) If the two of you never say it, or even think it, you'll never do it.

2) If you have something to discuss that may cause tempers to flare, go out for dinner or for a Coke to discuss it. We behave much better in public. ~smile~

3) Read your Bible together. Pray together. Face challenges together. Think we and us, not I and me.

Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and all that He says. He is our salvation for eternity and our salvation in life's hard times.

May I suggest?

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Expert Home Interior Decorating Advice for Any Style

Expert home interior decorating advice...
"Have nothing in your houses that you do not know
to be useful or believe to be beautiful."
~ William Morris

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Friday, May 17, 2013

A Thrifty Week #5

I was a little more thrifty this week than last week. 

~ I found a bank error of $5.00 on my checking statement.  I looked at the check on-line, called to verify amount of payment with the company, then called the bank.  They credited my account the same day. Every dollar counts.

~ In balancing the checkbook, I found that my husand had been, ahem, indulgent for my birthday and Mother's Day.  So, we're eating out of the cupboard and freezer this week.  So, I cleaned out the food cabinet.  Why do I make such a mess when I'm cleaning?  ~smile~  I still needed to buy a few things, but far fewer than I would normally buy. 

~ We found homes for the last four kittens.  No more kitten food to buy.  ~sigh~

~ I mended two pairs of jeans.  My son's thirteen and all boy.  He regularly wears through his knees or rips his jeans.  I fixed a pair for him.  The other was for my daughter.  She's just worn the same size jeans so long, she finally wore through a knee. ~smile~  I mended Amy's just like I mended this pair a few years ago.   *Just a little funny note, the next day Michael told me that he had outgrown those jeans.  I guess I need to get to my mending pile a little more often!

~ I noticed that the strap on my daughter's Croc shoe was beginning to tear.  Rather than let it tear all the way through, I decided to try sewing the edges together.  It worked!  The stitches aren't all that noticeable.  I wonder if Amy will notice?  They should last through the summer now, unless she grows too fast.  We have a creek on our property.  Crocs make swimming in the creek much safer. 

~ I bought thirty VHS history and Christian history videos and books for $3.00.  One of them was the Visual Bible Matthew series.   I love that their Jesus is a happy, joyful, Jesus.  Another was Ray Vander Laan's That the World May Know series.

~ We made a trip to the library in a neighboring town and brought home a big box of books to read over the next  few weeks.  It's about 40 miles over, so I usually renew once.  It will be good entertainment.  The kids signed up for the summer reading program, so there will be some free miniature golf in our future.  ~smile~

I'm looking forward to a thrifty summer.  Would you ladies be interested in linking up thrifty posts in a linky?  If so, do comment.  If there's enough interest, I'll look into it.

May God bless you,
Happy at Home
May I suggest?

Monday, May 13, 2013

Old-Fashioned Oatmeal Raisin Cookies to Pecan Steelers, A Recipe is Born

I decided to make my Old-Fashioned Oatmeal Raisin Cookies the other night.  I've been making those cookies since I was a child back in the day.  Sometimes a new recipe is born when I start a recipe and find that I'm out of something. 
Well, I just knew I had all the ingredients to make the cookies, so I started creaming sugar and butter together.  Well, I had almost all the ingredients.  I'd just substitute white sugar for brown just this once.  Then, I reached for my oatmeal jar. Where is it?  It's usually on the counter.  It's a gallon jar, it has to be here somewhere.... Oh well, I'll just get some out of the five gallon bucket... oh no!  I forgot I emptied it!  What now?  I searched and searched and asked the kids if they'd moved the oats.  No oats.  None.  Nada.  Except... here's a small jar of steel cut oats.  Wonder if that would work... why not?  Okay, now, time for raisins.  "Kids, where are my raisins? How can we be out?"  Well, I do have 8 ounces of chopped pecans.  Guess that will do. 
So, my Old-Fashioned Oatmeal Raisin Cookies became my new-fashioned Pecan Steelers!  Believe it or not, they were really good.  At first the kids were reluctant.  The texture seemed a bit healthy to them.  The taste reminded them of granola.  The good news - they lasted a few days.  The really good news - they tasted good the entire time.  It was a nice crisp cookie.  Not a health cookie, but still, it was filled with some good for you ingredients that you can pronounce!

Pecan Steelers
An Original Recipe by Laura Lane of Harvest Lane Cottage

Combine and cream the following ingredients together in a mixing bowl:

1 1/2 c white sugar
1/2 cup plus 2 T softened butter
1 t vanilla
3 T water
1 large egg

Combine the following dry ingredients in a medium bowl:

2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups steel cut oats (uncooked)
1 t salt
1 t baking soda

8 oz pecans, broken in pieces or chopped

Bake about 8 minutes in a 350 degree oven.  Watch them closely and adjust baking time as needed.  They're done when the edges are lightly golden.

Doing with what I've got,
May I suggest?

Friday, May 10, 2013

A Thrifty Week #4


Honestly, I didn't focus much on thrifty activities this week.  I've been preoccupied with tallying school hours and evaluating just what my children still need to do before I declare summer break.  We've also been working with our kittens to polish their little skills.  You know, playing nice with people, eating solid foods, keeping their little claws to themselves.  They're ready for their forever homes.  The next step will be finding those homes.  Well, here's what I did do. ~smile~

~ I made homemade Gak with the kids.  Thrifty because it was two hours of fun for the price of a couple of bottles of Elmer's glue for each kid that had been given to us, a little food coloring that we had on hand, and a little Borax which I had on hand.  This was a major hit with the kids.  For just awhile, I was the fun mom.  ~smile~

~ Emily liked her Gak so much, she filled a jar with plum colored Gak and gave it to her friend as a birthday present.

~ I found a chuck roast on sale in a nearby town that I could actually afford.  ~wow~  I bought the biggest one they had and made roast beef, potatoes, onions and carrots Monday night for dinner.  I took the leftovers, chopped them up, added 8 beef boullion cubes and water, and simmered it for lunch the next day.  Just before we ate, I thickened it with cornstarch.  Delicious!  Two meals for less than the price of just the roast at regular price.

~ I just didn't run around as much, so I saved money on gasoline.

~ My daughter, Emily, cut off and hemmed a pair of jeans that had paint stains on the knee.

~ Does finding a new home for one of our kittens count?  It's one less mouth to feed. ~smile~


Thursday, May 9, 2013

We're from the Country...


We're from the country...

and we like it that way!

Well, almost country.  We live 3 miles outside town on about thirty acres on the banks of Center Creek.  Just country enough for goats, chickens, dogs, cats, and kittens.  Right now we're raising three kids, two cats, and five kittens.  In a couple of weeks that will be three kids and two cats.  We're thinking about getting a puppy to replace Josh, our 15 year old Terrapoo, that barked his last bark last Memorial Day.  Last summer, our goat went to our friends who had more time to take care of her.  We were quite busy with tornado recovery in Joplin, Missouri.  If you live in the Southwest Missouri area, our kittens are homeschooled, handled extensively from birth, and ready for adoption. ~smile~
Blessings from Harvest Lane Cottage,

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Crock Pot Mistake A Narrative of Correctional Cooking

Crock Pot Mistake
A Narrative of Correctional Cooking
One busy morning, I decided to prepare a nice casserole in my Crock Pot while I was out for the day.
This is the story of that casserole.
I put 1 box (16 oz) of brown rice in the Crock Pot.
I added 6 cups of water, thinking it would make the rice, well, ricey!
I put in 3 lbs of boneless skinless chicken breasts (thawed, but it wouldn’t matter, if you cooked it longer).
I added 1 family sized cream of chicken soup and 1 can of water.
I found half an envelope of onion soup mix and mixed that in, too.
I cooked it all day anticipating a yummy casserole.

Time to open it up! It smells great!
Uh, hmm, this doesn’t look right!
It looks like boiled chicken!
Ugh! So… let’s make soup!
I chopped up the chicken, added a bag of frozen broccoli, and a little salt and pepper.

The family loved it!
A new family favorite!
God bless!

Happy at Home

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