Money Saver: Plants (Part 1)

Time to get your hands in the dirt!
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Ah, plants! When Fall rolls around every year (and I’m not admitting that it’s actually Fall yet!) my thoughts turn to my plants that have remained outdoors all Summer, soaking up the sun and thriving in the lovely Summer heat and humidity. (Well, lovely for them, anyway!) What will I save for next year? Well, of course, there is the purple heart. That must come inside. Also, the spider plant, which has happily made many babies all Summer. Do I bring in the impatients? Technically, they are annuals. However, I have saved them a few times from year to year.

It is possible to save plants, even annuals, from year to year. They just need a pretty pot, a little dirt, some fertilizer, and a lot of love.

I like to buy pretty pots when they’re on clearance, sale, or at resale shops. There’s nothing wrong with an old pot, as long as it’s sturdy and can be scrubbed clean. Stay away from cracked ones though, no matter how pretty – it’s a disaster waiting to happen. After bringing home your treasures, scrub them clean and let them dry thoroughly. I usually use some dish soap, hydrogen peroxide (to kill anything living there that you don’t want!) and a green scouring pad, along with a little hot water. Scrub! Scrub! Scrub! Rinse and dry with a rag and allow to air dry completely.

Now, you can use the dirt that is currently in with your plantings, but you will probably also need to buy a bag of dirt. Fall is usually when they discount these, so be on the lookout. A couple of years ago I got a huge bag of high-quality, name-brand soil for a fraction of the original price because a local discount store was trying to get rid of their stock to make room for new stock. O.k. Don’t mind if I do!

I have scrubbed a couple of really nice pots with bases, but which still do not look great. So, I will traverse to the garage and find some spray paint to give them new life. Hey, it’s worth a shot and if I can fix something and make it pretty, why buy new? That, my friends, is a waste of money!

So, save your plants and stay tuned for the next Money Savers for Plants, when I cover clippings and starting new plants. Yay!

You’re Mean…I Love You!

Smile!

Yesterday (and yes I apologize for not writing on my scheduled Thursday!) I was hanging out with my two oldest kiddos. Child #1 hugged Child #2, who immediately struggled to get away. Child #1 then said to Child #2 “You’re mean …I love you!” Now if that doesn’t sum up their entire relationship, I don’t know what does!

From the time Child #1 could speak (at 1 year in complete sentences!) she had been begging me for a sister. “No brothers in her house!” was her demand! I was not in charge of that, but somehow she thought I was!

So, after the devastating loss of a child in utero, I had Child #2, our “rainbow baby.” This refers to a child born after a miscarriage, who would not have been possible if the child miscarried had survived and been born on time.

Child #1 doted on Child #2, born 3 1/3 years after her. She, actually was the reason I stopped breastfeeding Child #2, as the baby couldn’t concentrate when Child #1 came zipping into the room and Child #1 was always zipping!

By the time Child #2 became a toddler, it was obvious that she wanted her own space and did not want to be hugged and slobbered on by her older sister! I actually have pictures of Child #2, chin jutting out, as she glares at her sister for some small infraction! It’s adorable!

Fast forward a few years (o.k. more than a few – several!) and we have the scene from yesterday! Hysterical! I just couldn’t believe it! Some things never change! I so love them both!!!

German Farmer’s Breakfast

Yummy breakfast!

When I was a child, my mother used to make this breakfast on Sundays once in a while instead of cooking dad’s favorite “sunny side up and smiling” eggs with sausage or bacon and toast. This is a heavenly combination of bacon, eggs, and hashbrowns. Why it was a breakfast for a German farmer, I have no idea. My dad was a farmer, but not a German one! Things to ponder! Anyway…I decided to take a shortcut and use bacon bits instead of frying up actual bacon. Yeah, I’m all for good food, especially if it doesn’t take multitudes of time! I also substituted potatoes O’Brien for the potatoes my mom would take lots of time to dice and cook. So, here’s what you’ll need:

1 large frying pan

1/4 cup canola oil

1, 28 oz. package of frozen potatoes O’Brien

1 cup real bacon bits (please no fake bacon bits)

10 eggs, scrambled

Put the canola in the frying pan and heat it up on medium heat. Add the potatoes and cook until softened and browning, stirring frequently. Add the bacon bits and continue to cook for another five or so minutes, stirring occasionally. Turn the heat down to between medium and low. Add in eggs and cook until they are done, stirring frequently. Serve and enjoy.

NOTE: I thought I had finished and posted this last night. I did the writing, but didn’t put in my pic! Oops! So here it is.

My Interview with Pooja of lifesfinewhine

Yeah, that’s not me or Pooja either, but the picture is nice!
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I recently had the pleasure of being interviewed by one of my favorite bloggers, Pooja of lifesfinewhine. The interview is linked below so you can check it out. Pooja’s blog can be found at lifesfinewhine.com Have fun and happy Monday!

https://lifesfinewhine.ca/2021/08/16/blogger-interview-with-rita/

10 Years and Change

Dad.

Today marks the 10-year anniversary of my dad’s death. So many things have changed. My children have grown up. My oldest is no longer a preteen, but rather an adult. My second child is also an adult. The twins are almost driving age (not that #3 is ready to even think about getting a license! And to be honest, neither am I!)

I am no longer married to an abuser. I am independent and a much better example to my kids. I am a published author. I am at peace. I hope you are too, dad.

My Tuna Fish Casserole

Mmmmmmm…

Tuna fish casserole. Yum. I have loved this dish since I was a child. My mom didn’t make it much as both my sister and dad hated it. Once in a while, however, usually during Lent, we were treated to it. I had a hard time waiting for it to be done and invariably burned my mouth on it since I couldn’t wait for that first bite!

Over the years I have changed it a bit to fit our needs. The canned peas made my stomach upset so they became fresh asparagus, and then canned green beans, as my kiddos let me know that they were less than fond of asparagus! It doesn’t really matter. It still tastes great!

Here is our recipe:

2, 15 oz. cans of French green beans, drained

3, 5 oz. cans of tuna, drained

20 oz. (1.5 bags) of potato chips, smashed

3 cups of my cheesy-veggie soup

4 cups finely shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat your oven to 350° F. Spray a 9 x 13 pan with your favorite non-stick cooking spray. Layer 1 can of the green beans, then 1 1/2 cans of the tuna and half of the potato chips. You can use any kind you like from regular to sour cream and onion to cheese and sour cream chips. Yum. Our favorite these days is the low-salt regular chips by Great Value (Walmart brand!) Add a second layer, finishing off the green beans, tuna, and potato chips. Top with the soup and then the cheese. Bake for 1 hour. Enjoy!

Answered Prayers

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Just wanted to let you know that child #1 came home today. Praised be Jesus Christ Our Lord, now and forever amen! Thank you for keeping us all in your thoughts and prayers!

We are navigating new territory here, trying for an adult relationship. I have many unbreakable rules (the first being absolutely no satanism or witchcraft of any kind! That will get you put out faster than you can say “Wait!”) She agreed to all 16 of my stipulations and was extremely happy to be able to come home on her way to getting her own place. I’m happy she’s safe and getting her life back on track.

She is getting along with everyone and I’m thrilled to report, seems to have grown up quite a bit. Good for her! Living on your own and dealing with life tends to do that!

Have a blessed and wonderful day and keep those prayers coming. Her relationship with God is rocky right now, she reports, so she really needs your prayers!

What Did You Hear Me Say?

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Communication. How many times have we been told that this application is key to any and all relationships? If we can’t communicate, the relationship cannot flourish. If we don’t communicate well, we cannot get our point across and sometimes end up hurting the other person’s feelings.

Hmmm…so lately I was listening to a podcast that my counselor had sent me for homework. Yeah. I have homework. Bummer. But I digress…I was speaking about communication. During the podcast, the woman (it was a father and daughter) spoke about communicating with her husband. She said she wasn’t communicating well one night and got angry with him. His response was “What did you hear me say?” Wow! That was not what I expected. She replied honestly and they cleared up the misunderstanding quickly.

How much better would our communication be if we made sure that the other person understood what we were saying? It’s almost like we’re speaking different languages if we don’t.

Think of that old game of telephone where you would start with a simple message, whispered to the person sitting next to you in the circle. They, in turn would whisper what they heard to the next person in the circle and so on and so forth. Did you ever get the same message that you started out with when it came back to the first person? I know I never did!

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So, if we mirror back what we heard the person say, and then mirror back what we say, we are truly on our way to open communication. Just be honest, but listen intently. Now is not the time to plan your rebuttle! Now is the time to listen and then say “What I hear you saying is…” Yes. It’s that simple! God gave you two ears and one mouth for a reason, people, so go use them!