A little bit of everything….

20141007leaves

Taking a break from working on homeschool planning (yes, still working on that) to type out a little update.

Fall is here, the weather is cooling down and it is time to have the windows closed more often.  This is a great time to deep clean the house and get rid of a lot of dust that has built up over the summer.  It is a slow process, but just sticking with my regular cleaning plan and add some extra cleaning is making it manageable.  Last week I pulled the bed apart and vacuumed everything.  Oh the dust!  My asthma went crazy and I had to put on a dust mask.  You’d never believe I had done the same in the spring with all that dust.  Whew!  Today is Tuesday and my Living Room/Dining Room cleaning day.  It isn’t in my nature to clean, my mother was a cleanie and I didn’t inherit that gene.  Having a good cleaning schedule keeps me focused.  I’d really like to get behind the sectional sofa and clean, but it is a beast and I’ll need hubby’s help.  That will wait for an open weekend where we don’t have anything going on.  So instead I’ll clean out the closet and get all the winter gear ready to use.

The garden is winding down.  I am waiting on a few tomatoes and all those plants will get pulled out.  The fall broccoli and spinach are doing great..at least the spinach that came up.  I planted a large patch of spinach and only half came up.  But at least I’ll have some.  In the raised bed up by the house is a volunteer tomato plant that started growing in mid summer.  That bed is where I grow lettuce and such.  In an effort to try and have more fresh tomatoes later in the season, the bed is now covered.  Not sure how this will effect the lettuce, but I’m hoping the tomatoes do well.  We’ll see.

I have been bad all summer about making menus.  I used to make them a month at a time since we shop monthly.  Somewhere down the line I let it go and have been winging it.  Hubby and I both agreed that it isn’t working for us.  Our grocery budget has increased and we have been eating out more since meal planning has stopped.  That is hard on the budget.  And because we have some big ticket project we are working on (for example, a new roof) getting back on budget is a must and planning out meals is a big part of that.  One of the things I’ve done to help me is to give each day of the week a meal category.  It makes planning meals for the whole month much easier.  Here are my categories:

Mondays:  Casseroles/Crockpot
Tuesdays:  International
Wednesdays:  Pastas
Thursdays:  Breakfast 4 Dinner/New Recipes
Fridays:  Finger Foods/Fish/Date Night
Saturdays:  Soups/Salads/Sandwiches
Sundays:  Roasts/Sunday Suppers

I’ve been making homemade yogurt for a long time, and the last time I made it I added gelatin.  The reason for this was hubby likes the thicker yogurt and I usually drain the whey after I make it.  It seemed a waste though losing all that protein.  So after some research I found a recipe that added gelatin to thicken the yogurt keeping the whey.  It seemed all right at first.  Hubby said it had a different texture that he wasn’t sure he liked.  I usually make yogurt with a gallon of milk at a time since we go through it so quickly.  (Since it is dairy, I don’t eat it.  Only hubby and son do.)  But hubby said that it got bitter and that he didn’t care for it.  After a busy weekend which included a trip out of state, I began making hubby’s lunch for work that Monday morning only to find the yogurt molding.  ACH!!  Never had that happen before.  I may have done something wrong, but that was half of that batch of yogurt going to waste.  So from here on out I’ll go back to the way I was doing it and drain the whey after it is made.  Thoughts?

We live at least 30 minutes from Walmart, 60 minutes from all other city shopping.  I truly hate shopping at Walmart, so it is worth it for me to drive the additional miles to get to Meijer and other big shopping stores.  This really puts a crimp in shopping sales and using coupons.  Back when we lived in Michigan in the city and close to all sorts of shopping, it was easy to hit all the sales and coupon as needed.  I was an extreme couponer before it was cool!  I was really excited to find out that they are building a Meijer store within 30 minutes away!  This just might allow me to get back to shopping sale ads and couponing.  Maybe not once a week, but maybe twice a week.  So I went online to coupons.com to see what coupons they had.  I was a little disappointed that there were only a couple coupons that we would use.  One was for shave cream that hubby uses, the other was for Mucinex.  I think it is great when people can play the game and get free things like toothpaste (I have even got money back in the past), but when you only use fluoride free toothpaste, there isn’t as much savings.  I don’t think I’m going to walk away with a cart full of couponing gems for $5, but every little bit helps, right?

I’ve stalled again on my decluttering.  While I do have a pile ready to be donated, I haven’t added much to it.  I’m hoping this weekend we can make a run to the mission to drop what I do have off and start again.  The holiday season is fast approaching and I’m starting to think of all the decorations that just sit and take up space in the garage most of the year.  I have been putting out less and less decorations for the past few years and I think I’m ready to start letting things go.  It isn’t easy in today’s world to minimize holidays when every thing out there screams at us to indulge more and more.  Fall decorations as of right now is a wreath on the door.  I haven’t pulled anything else out…and I’m all right with that.  It is much less stressful, not to mention cheaper in the long run.  Have you thought about minimizing your holiday decorations?

After being without a second vehicle for a couple years, we were finally able to pick up a new-to-us vehicle.  Hubby has the commuter car for the hour drive to work, and I have the big work vehicle for us here at home.  This will allow me to take care of more errands during the week freeing hubby to get more projects done on the weekend.  A win-win!  And hubby is happy that he is back to having a vehicle that will pull the fishing boat.  Priorities!  😉

Well, that was a ramble and not so little.  I have to get back to work now, hope your day is blessed and productive.  Grace and peace!