Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Obie And I Try Overight Oatmeal

July 10, 2018

Hey y'all, it's me!

I have heard about overnight oatmeal for several years, but I had never tried them. I just couldn't get past the mental taste of old, gummy cold oatmeal. {{SHUDDER}}

I finally decided that I was going to give them a shot last night, so I found a recipe I could adapt with ingredients I had in my kitchen.

I had done a lot of research on how to make a good tasting product, so I knew I should only use old fashioned oats, because they are supposed to soften just right and don't become soggy overnight. I remembered to use more flavoring than I would in a warm dish--cold foods need a bit more 'oomph'.

I put the oats in two pint mason jars, added the dark chocolate almond milk, Greek yogurt, a scoop of chocolate super food powder, a bit of stevia, and a couple of sliced strawberries. I stirred it up well, popped the lids on and put them into the fridge.

This morning after chores I pulled them out, and the jars were now filed to the top. I scooped the contents into bowls and Obie and I sat down to try them. Oh, if you do this, make sure you stir the mixture a bit before eating--it will make sure the flavors are well combined after sitting overnight.

Obie took a bite and looked at me funny, but he kept eating. I took a deep breath and ate a spoonful.


Not bad, actually.

Yes it was cold, but it was also creamy, which prevented a soggy texture. The yogurt gave it a rich, tart taste, and the oats were soft but not mushy. There's a dessert that it reminded me of, but I can't recall what it was.

All in all, I think I have a new dish in my breakfast arsenal, even thought the Redneck will NEVER try it. He is just not an oatmeal kind of guy, and yogurt just heightens the 'yuck factor' for  him. I can make omelet muffins for him instead.

I'm thinking these will be good for Sunday mornings, when we have to get ready and drive at least 30 minutes to get to church. Even if Obie doesn't want one, it will at least give me a quick meal. If you haven't tried them, I recommend giving them a chance.

Well, I got chores. later y'all.
© Evelyn Edgett 2018

Monday, July 9, 2018

Finally Got Something Planted!

July 9, 2018

Hey y'all, it' me!

It's been a great Monday so far, very productive.

I am now up to two sets of 15 reps on the Total Gym. I like to push myself a little bit more as I work toward my goal. I had made it to two set of 12 reps with the starter routine last week, so now I added 3 reps to my routines. I will stay at this level until next week, then try for three sets of 15. I'm also making a 'track' out in the back of the property, and once it's set up, I can do laps of either walking or running each morning. I can't walk down our road anymore since the cats are outside--they think they have to follow me!

Okay, on to today's project. I wanted a garden this year, but with one thing or another, it's not going to happen--yet. It WILL happen, I just have to keep working toward it.

I at least wanted to get some herbs planted in the big feed tubs a friend gave me. Saturday I bought two small pots of chocolate mint. I knew if I got the plants, I would HAVE to make the tubs ready and get them mint into them. I would feel horrible if I let them die.

Today I got out a feed tub, weed blocking cloth, scissors, hot glue gun, drill and a 5/16 bit, empty plastic bottles and milk jugs, along with a couple of miscellaneous hand tools. I also got a roll of rabbit fence wire.

Using the drill, I put holes about an inch from the bottom of the tub, about 4-5 inches apart.

I cut a 3 inch strip of weed blocking cloth, then cut it into small strips. Using the hot glue gun, I secured the strips over the holes I had drilled. This would keep any soil from falling out, and also prevent ants and pill bugs from entering the tub.

The finished strips. Once soil is in the tub, it will also help to keep the cloth in place.

Sorry for the blurred photo. I put two layers of plastic bottles and milk jugs in the bottom of the tub. This will allow plenty of soil for the mint to put down roots, but I will use less potting soil. It will also prevent the finished planted tub from being too heavy to move. Plus it keeps the plastic bottles from going into a landfill. Make sure you leave the lids on the bottles.

Before I put any soil in the tub, however, I had to create a barrier around the mint. I have five cats who live outside my house, along with all the neighborhood felines who occasionally stroll through my property. We all know what cats love to do in soil, so I needed something to allow sun and water to get to the plant, but prevent any 'toilet activities'. 

I had a roll of rabbit fencing, so I used a pair of pliers to cut off a piece to fit around the inside of the tub. I used the ends of the panels to wrap around and close up the cylinder. Then I took another smaller piece and wired it to the top to make a cage.

It's not attractive, but it's just like the men in my life--it ain't gotta be pretty, it just has to work.

I used the potting soil I had made back at the beginning of the spring. It had been sitting in a barrel, and after all the rolling and flipping and brewing, it was absolutely lovely for plants. I began pouring it into the tub, around the bottles. Occasionally I would shake the tub to settle the soil better.

My two little chocolate mint plants, Billy and Barty (yes, I anthropomorphize plants. hey, they are alive, give them a little respect).

The final result. I gave the mint a good watering, and left them in the shade of the carport to let them get used to being outside. I will eventually remove the PURINA sticker from the tub, but for now I'm just thrilled to have SOMETHING I planted! I hope to make another tub of cilantro next week.

The entire project was inexpensive. I bought a roll of weed blocking cloth for about $10.00, and it will last a long time. I already had the tools and the hot glue gun and glue sticks. The fencing was left here by the previous owners, and the potting soil was cheap to create from compost, vermiculite, and peat moss. I only used a little, so I have more soil for more plants later. The tubs were free from a friend, and the mint plants cost $6.00 for both. Of course the plastic bottles were just trash from the 4th of July party we went to, and the milk jugs were from our family's pantry. Once the mint is established, I will be able to make tea from it for years, making this a very cheap project.

Well, I got chores. Later y'all.
© Evelyn Edgett 2018

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Money Saving Adventures For Last Week

July 8, 2018

Hey y'all, it's me!

I hope everyone had a wonderful and safe 4th of July. Ours was awesome. We were invited to a party by a friend from church, and it was a pot luck. I didn't cook anything to take, instead we opted to buy hummus, chips, sodas, etc. when on sale, to allow me to relax and enjoy the day. It was fun, lots of fellowship.

Well, let's see where I saved money this last week.

I brought home all the aluminum cans from the party to add to my recycling bin. I also received a big jar of my friend's homemade salsa to bring home. This stuff is terrific.

I made pancakes from scratch on Saturday, and there were leftovers. I put them in a container in the fridge, and Obie enjoyed them a few times for breakfast during the week.

I found some Sewing With Nancy episodes on You Tube, I'll download them this week, and watch them at home to renew my sewing skills. I was sad to learn she had passed away, she was so sweet and I actually understood her when she told how to sew projects.

I did a quick search on Pinterest for a Georgie costume for the church Halloween party. I actually have the majority of what I need, yellow raincoat, galoshes, newspaper to make the little boat--I will just buy a couple of red helium balloons and write "We all float down here" on them with marker. I'm sure I can rig up a bloody stump for the arm of the costume. Yes, I'm bizarre, but you all love me, right?

I got some free magazines from the library giveaway shelf.

Since I developed an allergy in my mouth from the mouthwash I had been using (Almost healed up, BTW), I certainly couldn't use it anymore. Yet I didn't want to just throw it away, that would be a waste. I recalled my friend Eleanor telling me that she uses it to clean her toilet bowls, so I gave it a try. I just pour a cap full into the bowl, swish it about and let it sit for a while. I give it another swish, then flush. It's kinda terrifying that it works so well!

To help my mouth heal a bit faster and soothe the pain in my mouth, I used a mixture of warm water and a teaspoon of baking soda to rinse my mouth whenever I felt pain. It worked great, and I didn't spend money on store bought medicine that may have more detrimental effects on my already sore mouth.

I received coupons in the mail. I was able to use a couple on some razors and a bottle of shampoo I was wanting to try. I handed them to the checker at Walmart, but she forgot to put them into our total. She told me that if I took the receipt, the products and the coupons to the customer service desk however, the people there could take care of it. The lady was indeed able to give me the difference back on the total, and it saved me $6.00. I try not to shop at Walmart, but sometimes it's unavoidable. Good to know!

Since the camera I'm using now takes batteries, I invested in a simple rechargeable battery setup from Family Dollar. Each pair of batteries will last up to 1,000 uses before being replaced. That will save a lot of money for my blogging.

A trip down the clearance aisles at Brookshires got me a container of pulled rotisserie chicken, a couple of bags of pretzel crisps, and a container of macaroni salad. The pretzel crisps are delicious, but there were a lot of tiny bits and pieces in the bottom of the bags. No worries though, because I am adding them to my bread 'extras' mix after crushing them even smaller.

After church this morning there was an arena team meeting. Obie and I went outside to wait, and I took a look in the old clothing donation box outside the fellowship hall. Someone had put more clothes in it, so I took it for the homeless shelter. There was also a bunch of books dumped into it. I took them to donate to the library book sale. I will read a couple of them, then drop them off.

We love to fellowship with folks from church, but we realize that going out to eat after services is too pricey for us to really enjoy the time. Today we went to our friend Kenny and Barbara's  house and had a potluck lunch. I brought a casserole, and she made a big salad and steamed corn on the cob. There was fruit infused water for me, and iced tea for everyone else. Later on Barbara made a unique dessert--she made a white, cake like cornbread, and we ate squares of it with butter. She put out honey, jam, pear butter, molasses, etc, to go with it. Simple, but tasted good--it's been added to our family's meal ideas. It was lovely, we all had a relaxed afternoon, and we calculated the money we saved by not going out (true Thriftologists love to talk about that stuff). I also got to raid their DVD collection, and I borrowed a few movies to enjoy, including 3 Godzilla films!

While there, Barbara gave me this spinning tool caddy, since it doesn't fit on her counters. I think I might be able to get rid of some of the canisters I use to hold utensils. I have no drawers in my kitchen--weird. If I can't use it the Redneck can have it for some of his tools.

They had an old fridge in the barn they needed to get rid of, so we loaded it into the back of the truck, and I will sell it for scrap this week, along with a lot of other metal scrap I've collected.

I also wanted to share a beautiful freebie we enjoyed from our porch this last week. Sometimes the simplest joys are the most valuable, ya know?

Well, I got chores; Later y'all.
© Evelyn Edgett 2018

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Mouth Problems, And No, It Doesn't Mean I'm Talking Too Much!

July 5, 2018

Hey y'all, it's me!

Sometimes it seems the more we work towards a more natural lifestyle, the worse we react to the unnatural. Like many years ago when I learned about essential oils. The more we used them, the more sensitive the Redneck became to regular perfumes and scented candles. We once walked into a Crabtree and Evelyn store, and he was barely in the door, when he suddenly grabbed his head and reeled back out into the mall. He was leaning over the railing and gasping, his eyes watering. Turns out the scents in the store hit him with a blinding headache, and he couldn't breathe. Since then we don't go into any specialty scent stores--even walking past a Bath and Body Works makes him ill. We seldom go into a mall anymore, so we are able to avoid the worst of it.

Fast forward to a few days ago. when my mouth broke out with painful canker sores. I was miserable, but we just couldn't figure out what had caused them. Whenever I used my mouthwash, it would just be so painful I would cry. My friend Charlcie told me to try using coconut oil to soothe my mouth, so I started oil pulling. swishing the oil in my mouth for as long as I could, then spitting it out. rinsing my mouth with warm water and baking soda after. It helped immensely. Yet we couldn't find the cause of the cankers.

Until I came across the fact that some people are allergic to sodium lauryl sulfate, which is found in many mouthwashes. I bought mouthwash at a local discount store, an off brand. I checked the label, and there it was, sodium lauryl sulfate. I had been using it each day. and in an attempt to clean the canker area, I was rinsing with it, thus aggravating the condition it had originally caused.

The mouthwash has been pulled from the medicine cabinets, and is now being used to clean the toilets (it really works, which is scary, now that I think about it.). I checked all the toothpastes we use, and we're good there. I will be trying out making toothpaste with coconut oil, baking soda and clove essential oil, to see if I can avoid the commercial stuff completely.

My mouth is healing up. I just keep rinsing with the baking soda whenever I feel irritation. I do the oil pulling before bed. I can almost do 10 minutes before I have to spit it into the trash can. I'm trying to work up to the recommended 20 minutes.

I'm amazed at the ways that we can make changes, simple and big, to improve our lifestyle. I tell people I know who are complaining about their heath, if you are not happy with how you feel or look, quit slackin' and make stuff happen. Learn about your health issues, find ways to improve your life, and DO WHAT YOU NEED TO DO.

Even though I've been talking about mouth problems, I feel I need to post this video that I love. I watch it whenever I feel like I just want to give up on anything, working out, eating healthy, prayer, cleaning house, or learning a new skill.

I hope it inspires you as it does me.

Well, I got chores. Later y'all.
© Evelyn Edgett 2018

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Money Saving Adventures For Last Week

July 1, 2018

Hey y'all, it's me!

I'm thrilled to have photos to share with y'all this week. The new camera seems to be doing the job. Now all I have to do is get my Kodak repaired.

I had some good adventures in money saving, so let's get started.

I had a nice area rug given to me in one of my decluttering hauls, but it was D-U-S-T-Y. It had been stored for a long time. I could see that it had a nice design under all that dirt. I grabbed my quarters and headed to the car wash, where $3.00  allowed me to wash and rinse the rug, revealing a lovely pattern with colors that go with my living room. I still need to actually shampoo it with my carpet cleaning machine, then I will put it down in front of my couch.

A browsing through Brookshires clearance aisle revealed a glass jar of pasta sauce for 50 cents.

While in Brookshires I noticed an older lady buying a large tub of Greek yogurt. I told her to look in the dairy clearance section, because I had seen the exact same yogurt for $1.50, instead of the $3.99 it normally sold for. We checked the expiration date--July 24! She thanked me, and hugged my neck. I didn't save money, but it I love to help other folks save, and the hug was a bargain!

We got Pizza Hut coupons in the mail. We seldom eat there because I make most of our pizzas from scratch, but when we do want a meal out it's nice to save a bit of cash.

I learned that one of the local churches has a movie night every other Friday, with drinks and popcorn. I figure that a small donation every two weeks would be a good gesture, so Obie and I can enjoy fellowship, snacks and inspirational movies.

My old non stick pasta pot finally bit the dust, so I tossed it into the barrel to build my scrap pile for sale. I did keep the glass lid, because it makes a perfect cover for some of my other pots and skillets.

I cut up some old vinyl pants and rain coats for material to sew up some small triangles to string up for decoration in the back yard. I kept one of the old raincoats to make my Halloween costume--I'm gonna be Georgie from the movie IT!

Thursday we did our weekly trip to the library for the afternoon. After a while we took a walk, and stopped in at Thrift Angels Thrift Store. We hadn't been in for a while, in order to let the inventory turn over a bit. Imagine my delight when I saw this Anchor Hocking trifle bowl, still in the box! I have been wanting one for several years. I make a layered 'mulched' salad, and they are so pretty in a glass trifle bowl. It was $12.00, but then I saw the sign for a Buy 1, Get 2 Free sale. 

I looked around for a bit, and I found a brand new fragrance travel set. I grabbed it for a potential Christmas gift.

This little grater set was also one of my freebies. It's got several different blades, including a nice wide cut I can use to make zucchini lasagna noodles.

Since Obie's room is western style, this little carved wooden sign for 50 cents. was added to my total. The whole lot was less than $14.00. 

When I lived in a travel trailer, the oven didn't work, so I bought a good sized toaster oven. I baked a LOT of food in it--cookies, pies, casseroles, etc. It had been languishing in the laundry room since we moved in this house, but Friday I brought it into the kitchen and cleaned it up. I can use it instead of heating up the big oven (and the kitchen), cutting down on our electric bill.

As you know, I got a new camera for $5.00 at an estate sale this weekend, but at the same sale I got a second bread machine, that also makes an actual loaf, instead of the big cube of bread. Why do I need another bread machine? I often bake bread for events at church, or for Christmas dinners and even for gifts for people. Using two machines is more efficient, and for only $2.50, it was a good deal.

Speaking of saving money, I've talked about how much I love Dave's Killer Bread. It's a bit pricey though, so I decided to try to work out a recipe that is near to the bread of my dreams. I have all these grains, seeds, and flours from when my friend Eleanor moved and blessed me, so I went through and made up a blend of quinoa, millet, pumpkin seeds, rye flakes, coconut flour, flax meal, etc. I used a cup in a bread recipe in the new machine. It turned out pretty darn good. I would have posted a photo, but, well, you see....it was a bit TOO tasty, if you get my drift. I promise to post photos of the next loaf...if I can keep my guys out of it!

Well, I got chores. Later y'all.
© Evelyn Edgett 2018