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Managing a Household / Tuesday, Nov. 11, 2018
« Last post by pamgonzo on Today at 01:06:09 PM »
Hello Ladies;

I haven't been able to stop in here in quite some time.  Things have been challenging.  Not for me, but for my best friend from HS.  We have been friends for probably 40 years.  There have been times when we were wrapped up in our own lives and goings ons that we weren't in touch except for birthday messages and Christmas cards and the like.  In the past few years, we have reconnected, and I am thankful for that.  In mid October she was diagnosed with Breast Cancer.  After 3 opinions, it has been determined that it is stage 3.  She has 2 lumps that are both cancer, and one is spread into the chest wall.  She is going to start treatment soon that will be aggressive chemo and then a mastectomy.  I have been trying to be there for her as much as I can be, and will be doing whatever I can in the coming months of treatment. I am really scared for her.

Tomorrow we head to Ohio to pick up college son for the holidays.  He has to be back there on the 2nd of January to start baseball practice, so it will not be a super long visit, but I am looking forward to it.  His gf graduates from nursing school Saturday, and then from college on Sunday.  It will be a busy weekend.  We are also going to a Scotty McCreery concert Saturday night with our other son and his fiancee.  I need to start to get gifts wrapped.  I just can't find the motivation for it.

I have loaded baked potato soup in the crockpot for dinner tonight.  Might throw a salad together to go with it.  Before I have to throw away the greens for not using them. (again!)

Not much else happening in my world.  Sorry I have been absent.  Have missed you all.   Hope your holiday preparations are coming along for you all.

Take care.  Will check in again when I can.
Pam
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Managing a Household / Re: Wednesday, December 5, 2018
« Last post by Cheryl on December 05, 2018, 12:02:45 PM »
Hi, Alice.  I am here, but have no good news to report. 

I read all the time, but lately Iíve been attending my one woman pity party so havenít been posting.

This time of year is always a little tough for me.  The anniversary of my brotherís death is the day after my birthday, then Thanksgiving which is a lonely time because nobody in my family feels like celebrating.  This year was especially bad because my husband is out of work. 

We have gone through all of our savings just to keep bills paid.  I canít go Christmas shopping for anything.  I have one item on layaway for Emily but I donít know if I will be able to pay it off. 

On top of all of that, one of my cats tore a ligament in her leg last week and we had to take her to the vet.  We werenít sure what had happened but she was pulling herself along the floor howling in pain, so not taking her wasnít an option.  She had x-rays and was prescribed pain medicine.  The X-ray showed the torn ligament and also that she already has arthritis in both rear legs and hips.  She really needs surgery but itís $3500-$5000.  Needless to say itís just not in our budget.

We will be ok, I know. Iím just in a bad place now.  I feel lonely and sad and hate feeling like this.
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Managing a Household / Wednesday, December 5, 2018
« Last post by Alice on December 05, 2018, 06:20:20 AM »
Knock, Knock, is ANYONE here today?

It is a winter wonderland in West Michigan this morning!  There is a layer of ice on the roads covered with snow so it is deceivingly slippery. It's pretty but one must be very cautious!

I'm surprised at the lack of chatter on the forum. Are we still running? Let's try to keep this going. I'd hate to see it drop off and go away.

Remember the Cosori IP story from a few weeks ago? Well, that IP has really been malfunctioning. I know how to use a pressure cooker so I know it's not user error. It must have a hot spot because it was burning a big spot on the bottom of the inner pot. Then the pressure release knob started to do a fast release on it's own right in the middle of it cooking. It would come up to pressure then all of a sudden it would shoot steam out of the pressure release knob. I contacted the company and sent it back. So I am down to my tried and true and trusted Instant Pot. I love that thing.

Then last week hubby came home from work and said a big piece of something fell off from his van and he ran over it. He thinks it fell of his van anyway. He looked underneath and indeed it was something from his van. He tried to put it back on but the place where it would be mounted was all rusted out so there was no place to attach the piece. It's a very old van and it is really rusted out but it does have a lot of issues with the body. The engine is in excellent shape. So we decided to get a newer vehicle for him. That pretty much did a number on our savings. We tossed the idea of another older vehicle or a newer vehicle but since we have a daughter living 5 hours away and he's retired and I will retire in a few years we decided to get a newer vehicle right now where we can make good and safe use of. We also decided not to sell the other vehicle because we think it could possibly be too dangerous for someone to drive and I don't need that on my conscience.

Other than that we're moving into December looking forward to having our daughter home from Honduras for Christmas. We may or may not see our daughter from Ohio depending on the weather. Her fiancee also works so he might not have time off except for weekends. And they now have to share holidays with both families. We're not big on Christmas gift giving but his family is so they might just stay there and enjoy those festivities.

Let's have everyone leave a comment or two for the whole month.

Alice
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Managing a Household / Tuesday, November 27, 2018
« Last post by Alice on November 27, 2018, 09:20:08 AM »
Good Morning (Is anyone still on or has the forum dissolved?)

Just checking in and found NO posts since Nov. 12. Did I miss something?

We had an incredibly busy 4 day weekend.  Two kids home and one brought her fiancee so we had a five adults for the weekend. We entertained on Thanksgiving and cooked that 25 lb. bird. Lots of leftovers to freeze and reheat. Friday, we entertained again with having good friends over for leftover casserole and an afternoon of games. Saturday was a rather quiet day for us and so was Sunday. All the kids left so we were alone again until Sunday evening when our son returned home from his weekend work out of town. Busy season now starts at work and with all the Christmas celebrations it will be a very busy month.

We did our errands Friday morning so that was done for the week. Now I really have to buckle down and get through the holidays. I love them, but they are short due to being so busy with work and stuff. We don't spend a lot for Christmas gifts because it was always so financially stressing. It's a lot better now but the kids are all grown up so they buy what they want. It's really hard to buy for adult kids. And now we are adding a fiancee to the mix. And one kid lives out of the country. I want to do something this year but not sure what.

I also have a freezer that somehow got packed full. Most is family food but our son makes all his lunch sandwiches for his weekends away so he uses a a good portion of the freezer for his sandwich wraps and calzones so that he doesn't have to make them every week. He just makes several dozen at a time and freezes them. That works well for him and I say "good job" for planning our your meals instead of buying fast food.

Now that winter is here, we will do a lot more freezer meals so I don't have to go out to the store as often. I hate shopping in the winter, lugging my heavy cart through the snow to my van. So tonight we'll have IP pork chops and oven fries. I'm also making creamy wild rice and turkey soup for the fridge for a quick lunch this week. I have stew meat in the freezer for beef stroganoff sometime within the next week or so. I had made a turkey salad for sandwiches but when I showed my son, he decided it was fair game for his lunch this week so that is now gone. I have a couple of big pieces of white turkey meat in the freezer for another meal perhaps during Christmas. We also have a ham in the freezer my son received from work.

Last Wednesday, we didn't know that my daughter's fiance was arriving by 5 pm and I didn't have supper ready. I reached deep into my pantry and found 4 cans of chicken noodle soup and made grilled cheese to go with it. Not my best meal but everyone seemed to like the simple meal before Thanksgiving day.

We got all the bedrooms and linens cleaned up and ready for the next group (same people but next month) plus my daughter from out of the country is coming home for Christmas. Busy, busy. We put up our Christmas Village last night with two 18 inch Christmas trees. Then Catzilla trotted into the Villa and made herself at home inside the Village.

So that's it for our update. Tell me about your week.

Alice
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Homemaking Challenge / Re: Fall Cleanup 2018
« Last post by gaggleofseven on November 23, 2018, 11:46:06 AM »
We have cleaned all the leaves which end up in the yard from our (and our neighbors') trees. I pruned my hydrangeas - not sure if it was the right time of the year to do it. They grew so much this year that hopefully it won't hurt to trim them back some. DH put the patio furniture away and we had our furnace serviced last week, so I guess outside of the house we're about as ready for winter as we can be. ;)

Inside the house, I need to defrost my little freezer so there is more room and it runs more efficiently. I also want to stock up on some basic supplies - paper towels, laundry detergent, etc. - all the things we tend to go through fairly quickly.
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Homemaking Challenge / Re: Fall Cleanup 2018
« Last post by greyhoundgirl on November 14, 2018, 05:37:16 PM »
Do you have any tips for pruning pear trees?  This is the first year mine have produced any pears, but they were small.  I know I need to do something with them but Iím just not sure what.

You'll probably want to wait till early spring (possibly late winter if that's more like spring where you live). Pears (and apples) should be pruned to a central leader. You prune off any branches growing downward or into other branches or into the middle of the tree. You also want to prune to where there are not forks of two branches going off in opposite directions from the same spot. These weaken the tree, so you cut one off.  This diagram may help if it will show up on here: https://www.wilsonbrosgardens.com/assets/images/Blog%20Pics/Pruning-Apple-Pear-Trees-Central-Leader-Method.jpg
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Homemaking Challenge / Re: Fall Cleanup 2018
« Last post by Cheryl on November 14, 2018, 02:44:34 PM »
Do you have any tips for pruning pear trees?  This is the first year mine have produced any pears, but they were small.  I know I need to do something with them but Iím just not sure what.
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Managing a Household / Monday, November 12, 2018
« Last post by Alice on November 12, 2018, 11:37:01 AM »
Good afternoon,

Where is everyone this mid-November day? We got winter this weekend. The temps really dropped and we had snow, ice, and very cold temps all weekend long. I had Friday off and I'm glad I was off because the morning was quite slippery. Mid-morning we ran out to do our errands and then my parents came over and brought me a 25 lb. turkey! I wasn't going to make a turkey this year but then they brought and super-sized one that I can hardly get into my freezer. I'm even wondering if my oven can hold a bird that size.

We had a busy weekend with my daughter and her fiancee over for the weekend and his sister checking out a local college. Then their mother drove 5 hours to pick her up and another 5 hours to drive home. We visited MIL on Sat. night and then she came over for dinner on Sunday. So we were kept busy. There was a ton of laundry generated and lots of food to be made. And we even got our house vacuumed and mopped. We will repeat this entire scenario this coming weekend with the exact same guests and the exact same activities!

So, I decided to go ahead and meal plan for the week. I really don't meal plan because I'm pretty good at winging meals. I just felt like winging was more like last-minute-rush-around trying to get it done. So I shopped my very full freezer for things I'll need this week and will make what I have planned each day this week. The only problem with that is sometimes after work, I might not want what's on the menu and need to do something different. I'm excited to try this.

When my husband and I were married I enjoyed simmering pots with potpourri in water in a pot over a votive candle. I forgot it was on once and ran out for a quick haircut with my husband who was in a wheelchair then. When we got home it had caught fire and the flames were a foot tall and very close to the living room curtains. We caught it in time but the house could have burned down. I vowed never to have a simmering pot again. Well, 2017 and 2018 my adult kids decided candles were a nice addition and I have also been burning candles. I really like them. I'm scared at the same time but we are very much reminded of that day nearly 32 years ago. We only light them on a coffee table in full view of everyone and we question each other making sure they have been blown out before we leave.

Come on and join the chatter, anyone, everyone!

Alice
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Homemaking Challenge / Re: Fall Cleanup 2018
« Last post by greyhoundgirl on November 08, 2018, 05:41:19 PM »
Picked from the garden this week as we're supposed to have a significant freeze Saturday morning. We also dug up around our front yard pear trees planted a year and a half ago and planted daffodils to help suppress weed and grass growth there (this was 2-3 weeks ago). Next plan is to dig up a front flower bed that needs the wood edging replaced (we put it in 11 years ago) and, while it's dug up anyway, I have 50 daffodil bulbs and 50 tulip bulbs to plant there.

Enjoying the beautiful fall colors! We have a chance for a bit of snow on Monday, which would be extremely early for here, but if things will already have frozen, why not?
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Homemaking Challenge / Re: Fall Cleanup 2018
« Last post by Alice on November 08, 2018, 07:49:14 AM »
Ok, people, it's getting ready.....to......start........snowing!  :'(

After working Saturday afternoon cleaning, mowing, twig burning, they (leaves) all came back due to a lot of wind the last few days. So last night after work I told my big 24 YO son that I wasn't making dinner until after I had one last time outside doing leaf cleanup AGAIN. He offered to help!!! ;) We worked for about and hour and fifteen minutes and got it ALL done.  Tonight calls for the first of the snow and then a whole lot more this weekend.

Yes, I made my son some supper, he deserved it. He helped is old mom out when she needed him the most.

Alice
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