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Monday, February 28, 2011


I just received a sample of Purex Complete Crystals Softener and I am really excited about it. Last week I actually read the back of my fabric softener bottle for the first time and I really learned a lot. I did not know that fabric softener took the flame resistance from children's sleep ware, nor that you weren't suppose to use it on plush fabrics such as fleece. I did know that it took the absorbency from your towels, and I knew that it would leave oily spots on your clothes but didn't realize it was because it was oil based.
Purex has come up with a fabric softener unlike others. It is not oil based and doesn't have any of those results I listed, on your clothes. You put in your washer at the beginning of the was and that's it.

I just did a load of laundry with it. I had a fleece sweat shirt in the load. To test Purex Complete Crystals Softener, I did not use a fabric softener sheet in the dryer as I normally do. There was very little static and I really do think my clothes feel softer than usual and just different overall. They don't have an overpowering scent but they smell nice and clean.

I will post again about this product after I've used it a few more times, to let you know how I think it works on towels.


Friday, February 25, 2011


Precious Memories

I have been thinking a lot lately about my childhood and one of the memories that keeps coming to my mind is "Hoe fishing". I can't really remember what time of the year we did this. It could have been spring, summer or fall. All I can remember is we did it when it was hot and that could have been any of those 3 seasons in South Georgia. It's probably illegal to do it now, but it sure was a lot of fun when we were kids.

Just at the end of our garden was a small patch of woods and just past those woods was a little creek. The water in that creek was black water as most of the creeks in the South are. It turns black from all the tannin in the water caused by rotting leaves. This particular creek had a good sized "hole" (wide and not too deep) on the other side of the road and it was full of catfish.

There were 7 of us kids in our family, 3 boys and 4 girls. So on a good hot day we would take all the hoes (just regular old garden hoes) we had down to the creek. The boys would take those hoes and run them along the bottom of that creek until the water got all muddy. Catfish can't breath very well in muddy water. Before you knew it all the catfish would come to the top of the water to get air. You could see little whiskers all over the top of the water. Then the boys would take the hoes and flop those catfish out of the creek onto the bank. We'd run around and pick them up and put them in a bucket until we had a good "mess" of catfish. We'd go back home wet, tired, hungry & thirsty. Then take them home and clean them. Mama would fry them up and we had dinner.

I really don't like the taste of catfish, never did, but it sure was fun to run around that creek bank in that hot Georgia sun and watch them start coming to the surface almost as if by magic, their mouths gulping in that fresh air. Of course you had to get wet and muddy, that was half the fun. I am sure mama could hear us laughing and having fun all the way to the house.

I think that might have been the easiest fishing I ever did. You didn't have to wait for a bite and hope you got the fish to the bank. You could be pretty sure when you went hoe fishing that you'd have a mess of catfish that night.

I hope to add more memories, of growing up in my wild and crazy family, to this blog as I want my children to be able to read them and cherish them as I do.

Cherish your memories, they are what makes you who you are.


Thursday, February 17, 2011


One of my husband's favorite dishes is a recipe called Pizza Hot Dish. I have modified it from what the original recipe was, but it has been so long since a friend came across the recipe that I don't remember what the original recipe was. Any way here is my version.

2 pounds ground beef
2 jars spaghetti sauce (I use the cheap stuff because it really doesn't matter in this recipe)
1 small can tomato paste (sometimes I leave it out if I don't have it on hand)
1 can cheddar cheese soup
1 package egg noodles
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium onion, chopped
1 Tablespoon Italian seasoning
Mozzarella cheese
Salt & pepper to taste

Brown ground beef with onions until no longer pink. Drain, add spaghetti sauce, tomato paste, garlic, salt, pepper and Italian seasoning. Simmer on low until noodles are done.
Boil noodles until done. Drain, add cheddar cheese soup and a handful of Mozzarella cheese. Stir until well mixed and cheese is melted.
Add ground beef mixture to noodles and stir well. Pour into a 9X13 pan (or 2 smaller pans), top with remaining Mozzarella cheese (or desired amount). Bake at 350 until cheese is melted.

Serve with a salad and garlic bread.


Thursday, February 10, 2011


Can you live a life without stress? I have been stressing out a lot lately. And of course it is over finances. My husband is on a new pay schedule at work and getting use to it has been very stressful. He used to get paid on the 1st and the 15th. Now it is every other week. I get paid every other week also and as life would have we don’t get paid on the same week. That sounded good at first, a paycheck every Friday. But when it comes down to actually working out the bill schedule on paper it just didn’t seem to work for me. We still had a lot of bills to pay this month when we usually pay most of them on the first of the month, (He also gets his military retirement on the first.) No matter what I did there were still a lot of bills left over after the first. Then it dawned on me that he hadn’t gotten paid this month. He still has 2 checks and I have one coming in this month. Hallelujah!

My point is I caused a lot of my own stress over this issue. I should have just been trusting God instead of wondering how we were even going to tithe much less pay the rest of the bills. I am now wondering how much of the stress in our lives is caused by not trusting God. He promises to meet our needs, but we are living well beyond our needs and while we are working on changing that we should also trust that He will see us through it.

I recently had some stress because of a mistake I had made. I spent a whole weekend stressed out over it and do you know what? Not one thing came of it! I sometimes wonder if this is what He was talking about when He said “Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.” Matthew 6:34 I know it is talking about not worrying about our needs but I think any worry is wrong. I don’t expect that I will ever attain a worry free life, but I must realize that the worry and stress I add to my life are just that. Worry and stress I added. I pray that I would be trusting in my Lord, and that I would depend on Him more and myself less. And I hope that I can help others to see that worry and stress are things we should work on getting rid of our lives. That old song had it right. Don’t Worry be Happy. It is pretty hard to be happy when you are worried.

Have a happy day!


Wednesday, February 9, 2011


Today is another cold day and it has me thinking of Spring. I made a New Year's resolution a few years back to stop wishing my life away, so I am not wishing it was Spring, but I am looking forward to it. My thoughts are turning to my garden and making a cold frame. I would like to make the cold frame next month so we can get some cole crops planted early. It is usually too wet in the Spring here to actually plant in the garden. With the clay soil we have it is almost impossible to get into the garden before May. I am ready for fresh veggies way before then.

We are working away on our budget and paying off debt. The price of fuel oil is really hurting this year, and the cost of gas for our car is very high. We drive about an hour a day, one way to work. Fortunately, we carpool and are able to ride together.

Yesterday I found out I was chosen as a Purex Insider! I am excited about this as it looks as if I will have opportunities to have giveaways of Purex items on my blog. It would be really great to be able to give away coupons for free items. I really enjoy getting things for free and would love to pass that on to others. I will let you know as soon as I have something to give away.

I have noticed that so many more people are getting interested in couponing and saving money. I believe that God wants us to be good stewards of everything that He blesses us with. Couponing and stocking up while things are on sale is a very good way to be a good steward of you money. I have been using coupons for about 28 years and it has really changed over the years. But the deals are still out there and even if a coupon is only for $.25 that's a savings that can add up. I am fortunate enough to live in an area where some stores double their coupons and that makes it even better. I heard a woman say just last week that she uses coupons but you can't find them on fresh produce and a lot of other stuff she buys. I had in my binder 4 coupons on tomatoes and 4 on bags of salad. My main grocery store sends me coupons for a certain dollar amount when I spend so much in the produce section. If you search you can find coupons on almost anything you use. Here are some of my personal rules for using coupons:

1. Clip it. Unless it is something you know you will NEVER use. No since in clipping coupons for dog food if you don't have a dog. But if you are slightly interested in trying it, clip it. A lot of items are really cheap when they first come on the market and if you are interested in trying something but aren't sure you'd like, for goodness sake, don't pay full price for it.

2. Keep it with you. I always have my binder in the car with me. I have found some of my best deals when I wasn't looking for them and in unexpected places.

3. Be flexible. If you are brand specific it can cut down on your savings. There are a few brands that I really like, Viva paper towels, Dawn dish detergent, All Small & Mighty, but I am not so loyal to them that I would let them bust my budget. I buy Dawn at on sale at Walgreen's or CVS and never pay more than $.75 per bottle, but usually less.

4. Don't let the coupon rule you. The coupons I have on bagged salad gets me bagged salad cheaper than it normally cost, but head lettuce is usually so much cheaper, and makes a lot more salad. But sometimes if the bag salad is on sale it's worth it to me because you get more than one type of lettuce in the bag. You have to be the one who makes the decision on which to buy. Don't buy something just because you have a coupon. Do the math to figure out which is the best deal.

5. Buy when it is on sale and use the coupon. You should buy enough of something that you use to last at least 6 weeks. This week a small grocer in our area has a certain pasta sauce on sale 5/$5. I have looked everywhere for coupons and can't find any, but for that price I think I will still buy 5. I would love to have it even cheaper but I am okay with paying a dollar for it. Sometimes I pay that when I do have a coupon, so I am still getting a deal.

6. Know your prices. How else do you know if you are getting it on sale? Sometimes stores play games and make you think something is on sale when it isn't. For instance, BOGO free, I have seen adds that claim BOGO free and then you look at the price of one and realize it has been doubled.

7. Know your limits. I have standards, no more than $2.00/pound for meat, $.75 for toothpaste, etc. Know what you want to pay. Sometimes I have had to up my limits and am thinking I might have to up my limits on meat now. I have had some really good deals this year on meat, but I have a feeling that after 10 years, I am going to have to raise to $2.49 or $3.00 on some things. No not $3.00, I don't think I can do that yet.

8. Sensible stockpile. If you have $75 a week to spend on groceries, buy what you have to have first. Needs are the most important. Then if there is anything left over use that to stockpile something. Or just buy one extra something that you know you use regularly. Say you spend $73 on your needs, spend 2 on the pasta sauce that is on sale 5/$5. That gives you 2 extra pasta sauce that you will not have to buy next time. After a while you will have a good little stockpile going. Don't get caught up in stockpiling. There is no reason to spend money on something that there is no way you could ever use up before it expires or goes bad. Why would you need a lifetime supply of deodorant, today? And where would you store it? It is hard not to get caught up in a deal but keep your sense and you'll end up keeping your cents.

That's all I have for today, but there will be more coming.


Saturday, February 5, 2011


Today is a cold overcast day. They were calling for snow but so far it's just icy rain. So we are taking a rather lazy approach to the day.

We have been getting movies from Red Box for the last month and they have so many free codes out there that so far we haven't paid for one yet. This weekend we rented Red and Iron Man 2. Red was really good. If you haven't tried Red Box, I would highly recommend it. Kroger gives free codes and I have found some on the Internet. You can return them to any Red Box location.

Today I put 6 of the chicken quarters I got last weekend so cheap in the crock pot. I will use some of them for dinner tonight and BBQ them. Then the rest I am going to make a chicken casserole for later in the week. I am also going to make a pasta salad and fresh tossed salad, and a breakfast casserole. We will have plenty of food in the fridge for quick heat ups and lunches. On Wednesday nights we don't get home until after church and then we are starving and too tired to cook. So we don't have leftovers for lunch as usual. Hopefully all of the cooking I am doing today will help with that.

I have laundry going, and have done some cleaning. I plan to make a trip to CVS to do some shopping. I need a few things and I want to stock up on a couple of items.

Last night at Kroger I did pretty well. I only spent $43.00. If I can keep CVS less than $20.00 today I will be well under my budget this week. I really need to finish this month under budget since I was over budget last week.

I need to put up the snowmen this weekend and get out the Valentine decorations, sweep the floors and mop. But today, I am doing things slowly and stress free. That's the goal NO STRESS.