Friday, December 8, 2017

A Thrifty Week at Harvest Lane Cottage #115


Welcome to another 
Thrifty Week at Harvest Lane Cottage!
Each week I share ways I've saved money, my thrifty and frugal projects, and my blessings from God. 

A Thrifty Week at Harvest Lane Cottage
I am so glad you dropped in for a visit today—or tonight!
Please say hello! I'm always looking for new blog friends!

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Happy Christmas time everyone!

  Are you getting ready? We've put up our tree, I've been lighting white pillar candles that my husband bought at a yard sale a few months ago, I've been listening to Christmas music and watching Christmas movies. My daughter, Amy, decorated my kitchen yesterday while organizing some shelves. She has a gift of organization and decorating...the artist's eye!

  I've had a bit more energy this week, so I've done some decluttering and a lot of laundry. With more treatments ahead, I'm trying to take advantage of my good days without wearing myself out. It's all a balance of the mental and physical activities. This is a long-term recovery process, but I cannot just sit around. It makes me melancholy.

  Well, enough for now—on to my blessings and a bit of our thrifty life.


Just one of the free images from pexels.com

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A Verse for You

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning."
—James 1:17
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Here's my thrifty week!
  • My daughter, Amy, designed a new blog header and background for me. I love it!
  • Avocados $.39 each at Aldi. My son told me that they're $.42 each at Walmart now. I need to buy some. The kids love them. I love my homemade guacamole!
  • Approximately 15 cubic feet of real estate investment! I've been doing what I can to clear things out. We are just jam packed into this little cottage. 
  • I downloaded a few new free images from pexels.com. They are free to use without attribution.
    pexels.com
  • We enjoyed the last of the meals that were brought to us during my surgery recovery. Our friends were very generous. 
  • My son, Matthew, called from Walmart to say that they had 5 dozen eggs on sale for $3.00! I bought a box the same day. Eggs have been cheap here, but they've been over $1.50 a dozen for the last couple of weeks. We all know there's holiday baking to do.
  • My daughter, Emily, baked homemade sugar cookies using the first cookie recipe that I learned to make by myself as a child over forty years ago. Don't go there! I just know you're thinking, "How old is this lady?" Ha ha! She made a very large batch and filled tins we had left over from our restaurant days for her teachers. Very nice gifts for the price of butter, sugar, and flour.
  • I made roll out sugar cookies with my son, Matthew, at his request. When it came time to decorate, we used things we had on hand. Use it up!
  • My husband and I splurged and went to Panera for dinner to plan Christmas gifts. He received a free danish for his birthday.
  • My daughter, Amy, decorated the kitchen using things we had on hand in creative ways.
  • We sipped homemade cocoa while watching an old Christmas movie we've had for years—Home Alone.
  • I have a big bag of oddly cut chicken pieces that a friend gave me thawing in the fridge.
  • I wrote a review for a free copy of the book Christmas at Grey Sage. It was a good book.
  • Now for the most exciting thrifty of the week—a friend gave us her dvd/vcr combo machine! We've had two such machines stacked on top of our old t.v. for years. One's DVD worked, the other's VCR worked. We bought them at yard sales. Over the last couple months, they both died. We needed a VHS player, because almost all of our Christmas movies (and memories associated with them) are VHS. Have you priced them? I cannot buy one locally, and on-line they are several hundred dollars new. I have no trouble with a used machine, but most of them were nearly a hundred dollars without any guarantee that they work. I decided to just ask on Facebook if anyone had a VHS player they didn't want. I asked twice with no results. The third time, a dear friend, Susan, told me she had a combo player she'd only used three times, and it had been sitting at her house for eight years! My husband picked it up the next morning, and it works like new. Praise God! All good gifts come down from God. Thank you Susan! Thank you God!
Take cat naps as needed!
  Ladies, whatever preparations you're doing for Christmas, try to use what you have on hand as much as possible. You can make things over, use old decorative items in new ways, just change things up a bit. Try to keep it all in perspective and keep it off your credit cards! It's better to downsize now than to face bills later!

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That's my thrifty week.

What are you doing in your home this week?

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ღLauraღ
...doing what I can with what I've got
where I am on a short shoestring budget!

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26 comments:

  1. I just adore your new look here, Laura. The dr. gave me a clean bill of health, still healing, and he said by Christmas I should be good to go. Still no driving though, due to that area still being numb.

    What a thrifty week you have had, no credit cards here, none, zip. We planned $5 for everyone, and its fun trying to buy things for less for $5. I hope you have a beautiful and jolly day, rest my friend.

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  2. Oh, how pretty your house looks! I agree with you a thousand percent about keeping it off the credit cards. No material thing feels as good as being debt-free! So thankful you are feeling well enough to do things and enjoy the Christmas season!

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    1. I'll pass along your comments, Cheryl. Amy is a true joy to me.
      I have had a wonderful and full week. I hope to get things done
      this week, because next week will be a doctor and chemo week.
      Be blessed!
      Happy Christmas!
      Laura

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  3. Merry Christmas to you and yours.
    My 18 manger scenes and candles are my decorations this year. Love them.

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    1. Eighteen! Wow! That must be a marvelous sight in your house!

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  4. First, tell your daughter the new header is lovely.
    Second, what a wonderful week it sounds like you have had. The kitchen décor is so pretty. The joys of baking cookies with your family - fantastic!
    Glad you were feeling a bit better this week, and had energy to do more. Please don't over do it!
    Continued prayers my friend.

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  5. Hi Laura. Bless your heart...I hope you are feeling ok. Breast cancer surgery is hard and so is chemotherapy. My thoughts and prayers are with you and so many others who are going through treatments - including my dad.

    I love to read frugal living blogs. To be reminded of simpler and smarter ways that we need to live feels good to me. Today I grocery shopped at Walmart with their free delivery to the car service. I read somewhere that it's a good idea because we don't have the opportunity to make impulse buys. It really is working for me and our pantry is stocking up some.

    Your blogs looks fantastic! The colors are pretty and inviting. Also, I love the photo of your cottage with the blue sky behind it.

    Don't worry one bit about returning my comment. I understand.

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    1. Thank you so much Stacey. I may try out the Walmart shopping next month. I need to see if they have it here. I have heard that radiation makes one very tired. I cannot imagine it being worse than chemo though. I've not been to your blog in a bit. I'll stop by soon. I hope we will be blog friends. I definitely write a bit about frugal living.
      Happy Christmas!
      Laura

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  6. Love that little snowman marshmallow! :)

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  7. Oh my goodness!
    I love love love your new look!
    Your daughter did an amazing job.
    Thank you for all the tips...
    I learn so much from you.
    Hugs!!!

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    1. You're too sweet, Billie Jo!
      I'll let Amy know you like the new design.
      I love it. I like the header so much, I'm
      hoping she'll use it for winter, too.
      When I visit your blog, I feel peaceful
      and inspired. Do you have any suggestions
      for a board game that 16-adults would enjoy?
      Boys and girls, well men and women now!
      Happy Christmassing!
      Laura

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  8. I loved reading what you are up to. Just wanted to check in and see how you are feeling. I love the blog header, especially that verse! Perfect!

    God bless you!

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    1. Dear Mrs. White,
      I actually feel pretty good right now. I found out last Monday that the doctor recommends radiation to prevent recurrence. I wasn't happy about that, but I believe God is giving me peace that it's the right thing to do. I expect it will start in January. It's all about trusting God and staying close to him anyway, isn't it?
      I was glad to see your post. I thought, when I began homeschooling in the mid-nineties, that success for my children physically, spiritually, socially, and financially would be guaranteed if I homeschooled. That's the way the magazines and few available books made it seem. I have not found it to be true entirely, but our kids are closer to us and to each other than they would have been otherwise.
      It's so good to hear from you. I'd love to know how you are doing, too. I know we've never met, but I've read all of your blog, and I feel like I know you from it. You've been close to my heart over the years, and I've prayed for you often.

      My Amy, 16, made the blog header and design. I am amazed what this next generation can do with electronics. I am still afraid that I'll break the computer!

      Hugs to you! Happy Christmas!
      Laura Lane
      Carthage, Missouri

      P.S. One of my favorite movies is White Christmas. It makes me think of you when I hear the line, "It must be beautiful up in Vermont with all that snow."

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  9. Your blog page is beautiful. Your daughter did a great job.
    The cookies look yummy, know the teachers will like this gift.
    Kitchen looks pretty too.
    Hope you have a very blessed week..It is a slow healing process, and so stressful.. Take it easy, don't over do.. But.. enjoy when you can..hugs.

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    1. I think she did a great job, too. The cookies were yummy. I think I'll make snowball cookies next. Be blessed friend. I feel pretty good right now, but I'll still have to take radiation sometime after Christmas. My incision must heal first. Surgery was October 20th. It's taking a long time.
      Your friend,
      Laura

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  10. Oh people have to stop posting pictures of Christmas cookies! I keep wanting to lick the screen!😊

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  11. Oh and your blog looks beautiful!

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  12. I am surely older than you since we have been married for almost 40 years! I love your way of using what you have which is how we roll here, too. The blog looks wonderful! I just said t hubby a few days ago that if our VCR/DVD combo dies we are going to be in trouble! I am so happy you found one.

    I finished all the shopping and had $8 left in the Christmas budget. We made it! I put money into the Christmas budget all year long but this year we added to the family and could not increase the budget so I am so happy we kept it in the budget. I have one gift to wrap and it is all done.

    We were blessed beyond what we could ask or even think this week when my husband cleaned out his office since he can no longer work due to his brain injury. His coworkers all told him to come back if he can and management said the same. In a corporate headquarters building that is short on space his office was just as he had left it almost a year ago. His boss said that out of respect for his long time contribution to the company she had not allowed anyone to touch it. That blessed him so much. We also have many unexpected benefits like contributions to our retirement fund for 6 more years and many others that we were just not expecting. We will also save 30% on tires for life. We are so blessed!

    We have been eating pretty much what we have here and just shopping for the really good and freebie deals. We had a lovely breakfast out on Thursday. A local restaurant has a 2.99 2 egg special and we drink water so with the tip it is only $8.50 and we had a table by the fireplace which was so nice on a cold morning. We often make coffee and drink it on the way to eat breakfast out but really because we are picky about coffee. It saves a ton of money though.

    Many hugs! It makes me smile to hear that you are feeling some better!

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    1. Bless your heart Lana! Lowell and I have been married since 1986. We were high school sweethearts, but we didn't marry until my last semester of college. I'm 52 if you're wondering.

      I'm now the happy owner of an heir and a spare (tee hee English saying). I have the first combo player, and another friend brought me the second one! Oh, I think I told you that already. Oh well. It will be worth storing, since I priced new ones at over $700!

      Wow! You've finished shopping and under budget! I'm proud of you. I am usually mostly done by now, but not this year. I need to order a few things online today or tomorrow. I will probably buy stocking things primarily locally. I've only been this late one other time that I can remember, and I ended up in the hospital right up until Christmas! My husband had to do all the shopping. I wrote about it here. http://harvestlanecottage.blogspot.com/2012/12/a-christmas-memory-2009.html

      Your husband's company has greatly honored him. They've shown true integrity in the way they have protected him and provided as they have. God will take good care of you two.

      I am officially back in the kitchen now. It feels so good. I am getting help with some meals, and some will still be easy things, but it feels good to cook a bit. I hope I continue to have the energy to cook even after I begin radiation next month. Your breakfast out plan is great. Sometimes my husband and I go out to a favorite Mexican restaurant and only buy queso and chips. We finally figured out that their queso and salsa were what we like best, so why not just have that for dinner? We occasionally get guacamole or an entree to share, but it's nice to have a date for under $10.00.

      I do feel pretty good right now both physically and emotionally. I'm going to enjoy it while I can!
      Be blessed, and enjoy your Christmas season. It's all going to be over this year before I'm fully in the mood I think! Ah well, it's a different kind of Christmas this year.

      Hugs,
      Laura

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  13. I like the new blog design. Kudos to your daughter.
    (By the way, I just saw an old comment on one of my sites. Apparently, I deleted a comment from you by mistake. Sorry. And thanks for visiting.)

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    1. Oh Linda Ann, no troubles! Hope you're having a wonderful Christmas season!

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  14. What a great week! Fabulous buy on avocados. They are 3 for $5 here☹️ Your kitchen display looks lovely. Many blessings dear.

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    1. Thank you! My daughter, Amy, who designed my blog header did it.

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  15. Oh my, your daughter did such a lovely job updating your website! Maybe, someday as her skills develop she could make money building websites. What a wonderful way to earn money from home, whether she is unmarried living with you or married starting a family. :)

    An oh those cookies look so yummy! I have been going through some cookbooks I bought at recently visited estate sales. I love to find the cookbook all dog eared and falling apart , so much goodness in those! Anyway, back to topic, I am craving the old fashioned Holiday favorite -Snowballs.

    You have accomplished so much, though feeling poorly, Good job! You've inspired me to step up my game :) Thank you. i needed that "kick in the seat"..
    Continuing to pray for you (((many hugs)))
    Kath

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    1. The snowballs are next on my list! You made both of my daughters smile, one did the website, one did the cookies.

      I don't want to sit around and think about how I miss Christmas past since things have changed so much. I'm doing what I can with what energy I've got where I am. ~smiles~
      Happy Christmas!

      Laura

      P.S. If you send me your email, I can respond directly.

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Thank you for praying for me! Thank you for encouraging me so much through this cancer treatment. I have the best blog friends in the world! Yes! You!

I read all your comments and respond as I can right now.
Please make sure I have your email if you want me to respond or pray for you. For some reason Blogger isn't notifying me of comments right now, so I may be a bit slower.

God bless you all! This life only works with Jesus. The next life is a continuation of this one—make sure you spend it with Jesus. Jesus is the only way to God the Father!

Your blog friend,
Laura Lane
Cancer Survivor