Saturday 30 October 2021

Monthly Shopping...

So, my lists are all ready and my money off coupons are sorted. Its time for the monthly shop and its going to be a big one. The monthly meal plans are done and I have a list of the baking I have to get done for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Back in Wales.. November would also include Bonfire Night... with Treacle Toffee , a nice big stew...and toffee apples. But I dont have to think about that here. All week I have been scouring the net and pouring over leaflets comparing the supermarket prices looking for the cheapest deals. I have worked out how much things should come to...with a bit extra in a separate purse just in case I come across a bargain I haven't accounted for and is too good to leave. Not long ago it was butter for 25c...I bought a load and froze it.
I also have my list of people I need to get Christmas presents for. I have another purse with Christmas money in, just in case I see something pretty and reasonably priced. But this year... I wont be buying much here. I have kept most of  the money in my bank savings... and I will transfer some to my children in a week or so and they can get the presents I choose for the granchildren...saving me hundreds in postage. I can also steer clear of the card aisle. I bought all my Christmas cards, wrapping paper and gift tags in the after Christmas sales.
In the kitchen, the cupboards are sorted and the pantry has had a good clean, plus a fresh coat of paint. It didnt really need it but I wont be doing it again for quite a while. All the items have been date checked, though nothing is out of date because of my strict rotation system
The freezers have also been cleaned out and sorted so there's now loads of room for the food I'm going to buy and the meals I'm going to prepare next week.
I quite like shopping, especially looking for bargains. I'm careful not to fall into the buy one get one free trap. I only buy if I know I can use both and I always check the price.  Although... I dont see BOGOF very often where I live.
I always check the reduced items too. In supermarkets  fruit, veg, bread, meat and dairy products are taken off the shelves on their sell by date, not use by date. I always buy anything that can be frozen
So, with the Bags for Life safely stored in the car, we're off. It's going to be a long, busy day. I just hope it will all fit in the truck!!

Love and Hugs
Phoebe x

Friday 29 October 2021

Are You Ever Too Old?..

This is not the post I was going to write today... but at 2.30 this morning after seeing MrD off to work.. I was enjoying my coffee whilst scrolling through my Fb feed (like you do) and I came across this post in a group I belong to... and I felt a bit miffed. The question she asked was this..(copied and pasted)
"Can someone please tell me when it became ok for older people to dye there hair in bright or pastel colors????? Like, why, just why?"

One of the replies started and ended like this..."Honestly I think it’s just that the teens who were dying their hair crazy in the 90s are in their 40s now.... If it brings them joy and doesn’t harm anyone, I say let them be silly."

Well...first things first.... its "their" not "there"

Secondly.. What the Heck!!!

Thirdly... When did 40 become old?

And lastly... my comment.. and just to let you know...Im normally a reader... a liker... an ignorer if I dont like the post... and I rarely comment..

But today for some reason.. I felt compelled to reply... which I probably shouldnt have. So.. basically I wrote...

"As an “older” person.. I think the answer is..because we want to… and why not . We are old but not dead yet.. and what right is it if anyone else to judge. It causes no one else any harm… and quite frankly the fact you ask this question is sad. During the 60s and 70s when I was growing up was normal to see older ladies with a Blue Rinse’. Throughout life I was taught many things.. judge ye not lest ye be judged.. don’t judge a book by its cover.. and it’s not what the wrapping looks like.. it’s the precious gift inside that matters."

I dont know why it got to me....daft really...and very early in the morning, Maybe its because I am pushing 60... and is someone who lost her hair to cancer. The other day we saw a group of young ladies with an arry of different colour hair. In fact my sons girlfriend has blue hair..or is it pink...or purple right now....I cant keep up. Any way she looks beautiful. I said to MrD..."if you cant do it when you're young...when can you do it? Well..fake blond is a about as far as I will go... But I think I answered my own question... when ever you darn well want... even if others think its silly. As my mother used to are a long time dead!

Be yourself... be fabulous... and dont let anyone tell you otherwise!


Love and Hugs
Phoebe x

Thursday 28 October 2021

In The Kitchen ~ Creamy Potato and Celery Soup

Its turned quite chilly here at the Blue House... and according to our neighbours...its unusually early. Leaves are falling from the trees and there is a definite nip in the air.. We are even putting the heating on in the mornings.

On Monday it absolutely poured down with rain. It was the perfect time to make one of my favourite soups. Creamy Potato and Celery. It says creamy...but no cream is added. In fact...its quite low calorie.. especially if you omit the oil and saute the veg in 1 Cal Spray or Pam.
Absolutely delicious and filling. MrD loves it with a bit of ham added. This soup freezes well... but make sure you whisk well when reheating

Btw.. I was going to use the crockpot.. which works nicely if you are busy. But I did it in a big pan on the stove instead.. much quicker.

Creamy Potato and Celery Soup

1 bunch celery, diced
3 large potatoes, diced
1 onion, diced
1/2 teaspoon celery salt (or sea salt)
1.5 litres chicken stock
1 tablespoon oil

  • Heat the oil in a large frying pan.
  • Saute onion and potato for 3 minutes or until the onion has turned translucent.
  • Pour in chicken stock and bring to the boil.
  • Once boiling, add celery.
  • Bring back the boil and lower the heat.
  • Add celery salt.
  • Let simmer for 30 minutes.
  • Puree the soup with a hand blender, liquidiser or food processor until smooth

Wednesday 27 October 2021

The Roof...

So... this is whats happening at The Blue House... the roof is getting replaced.
We knew it needed doing... but we hoped we could wait a bit longer til the wood prices drop. But.. the weather here is different to what we thought. Because we are in the hlls... in what used to be desert.. the days are hot...and the nights are cold. The wind blowing from the surrounding hills can be fierce... and it rains... quite heavily. We havent found a leak.. but there are a few cracks that will definitely cause problems. Most of the houses here have had their roofs patched or replaced.. so now its our turn.
Its a big job.. and going to cost a pretty penny.. so we got a few quotes. We decided not to go for the cheapest.. and not the most expensive. But the company we chose seemed to offer the best package..with the materials we liked..although MrD is far more knowlegable then me.
So today they started ripping off the old roof and the whole project will take about 7-8 working days. Being a wooden house and one story... earplugs may be deployed. Kidding ..but it is loud overhead. wil be worth it in the end..

Love and Hugs
Phoebe x

Tuesday 26 October 2021

My Little Pumpkins....

I dont particularly "celebrate" Halloween... but I do enjoy seeing how people decorate their houses... and I loved watching my two youngest grandbabies carving their pumpkins over Facetime yesterday.
Growing up in Wales... Halloween was just one night where you dressed up as witches etc... normally for primary school.. and carved a turnip. 
I dont think I saw a real pumpkin til I worked in London in the mid 80s. And I dont remember kids trick or treating til the 90s... tho my memory my be muddled over that point.
But the babies did a fab job...and it was a real treat joining in with the fun

Love and Hugs
Phoebe x

Monday 25 October 2021

Whats For Dinner~Meal Plan Monday

Good Morning from The Blue House..and another weekly Dinner Plan.The weather is definitley chilly and today they have given heavy rain. Im not sure if this is the best week to have the roof replaced... but the roofing company will be starting work on Wednesday. Im preparing for a bit of mess...and a lot of noise!

I will escape for a little while on Thursday... and enjoy a fun time at church where the ladies group will be learning how to make soap and candles...somethng I've wanted to do for a while. 

Then Friday... my friend and I are off to an Estate sale. She is a master bargain finder ... I just like to look.. though you never know.....

Have a great week everyone                                                                                                              

 Weekly Plan - 25th October 2021

Monday             Pork Chops, Mashed Potato, Corn, Onion Gravy

Tuesday             Tacos

Wednesday        Shepherds Pie and Cabbage

Jambalaya ( pasta instead of rice)

Pizza Night 

Saturday            Sloppy Joes

Sunday               Roast Chicken, Potatoes and Veggies, Cornbread Stuffing 

Friday 22 October 2021

Birthday Flowers...

Beautiful flowers from my hubby as I enter the final year of my Fifties. I really don’t know where the years have gone!
It seems like yesterday that I strolled out of the school gates  for the last time.. but that was over forty years ago! I loved my schooldays.. and it’s wonderful that socal media has helped me reconnect with so many old friends.. perhaps one of the few things its good for.

MrD has taken today off so we can have a long weekend together... one of the best gifts I could have

Here's to my next year....

Love and Hugs
Phoebe x

Thursday 21 October 2021

In The Kitchen ~ Baked Apples..

This week I was gifted a large bag of apples... a real blessng. Eating them fresh is always a pleasure.. but there were far too many so I decided to can some apple sauce....
and make some yummy apple pie filling for the store cupboard.. which ..I must say.. is filling up quite nicely
I kept some of the apples back as I decided to make a wonderful Fall dessert. Its one that I first made 45 years ago at school  but  havent made in a while... Good old fashioned Baked Apples. 

Baked Apples

An absolutely delicious vintage dessert and so easy to make. There are lots of recipes but this is the one I have always used and is  adapted from my 1950s Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook
  • Wash and core some good quality apples.
  • Make a small cut around each one so they split evenly.
  • Place in a baking dish.
  • Fill the centre of each with 1-2Tbsp brown sugar, 1/4 tsp butter and dried fruit of your choice.
  • Pour a cup of water into the dish around the apples
  • Bake at 375 for 45-60 minutes or until tender.. basting occasionally during the cooking time
So simple..but a quick tip. Remember to really pack your fruit in.. because as you can see from the photos..once the sugar dissolves ..the filling sinks.
I used raisins in two..and cranberries in the others.. but the possibilities are endless. Im thinking of making them again before Christmas and filling with Mincemeat and nuts

Love and Hugs
Phoebe x

Tuesday 19 October 2021

Incy Wincy...What a Spider!!!!...

I have always hated spiders... and just like my dad.. have always been mildly freaked out by them. Mum was a bugger... if there was one in the house..she would put a teacup over it until dad got home... then release it... and giggle as the spider... and dad ran. And believe me when I say that when I lived in Wales.. ther were lots of spiders.. from little fat furry the ones with tiny bodies and great long legs... and the big ugly ones that eye you from the corner of the ceiling in your bedroom!
But never...ever did I lift the lid of the outside bin... and come face face with a Black Widow. I wasnt sure at first.... but MrD said the red markings gave it away...
I guess I wont be taking the trash out for a while.....

Love and Hugs
Phoebe x

Monday 18 October 2021

Whats for Dinner ~ Meal Plan Monday

Its a chilly start to the week... a bit of a surprise because last week the temps were in the 90's. Because we live in the hills here in So Cal.. it does get cold overnight.. and we have been told it even gets frosty during the winter.  With the daily differing temps..we best get our flu shots because we dont want to start with the sniffles. I also think comforting soups, stews and casseroles can now be added to my its just the weather for it.

This week I will be entering the last year of my fifties. I cant really get my head around it. I dont feel any older..and my school days are as clear as if they were yesterday. My life has been full of ups and downs...but I have always put my trust in the Lords Plan for me and am now blessed with the most wonderful life. A bit of Faith goes a long way! As does a smile...and I smile a lot

So the plans for this week are many and varied... starting with the final bit of canning and some baking. I have been gifted with another bag of I think some apple sauce is on the cards..and an apple dessert is a must. Thursday we are having my birthday dinner out.. Friday is my first meeting with our new GP for a medical and hopefully he will arrange for an oncologist so my four month check ups can resume. I also need to try and sort this cough and breathlessness out for its getting a bit frustrating. Then Saturday we have a Marriage Conference at our church... although I dont know what to expect but Im sure it will be enjoyable. And finally another trip to a pumpkin farm...a bit of a surprise as I thought we were done... but MrD seems to be enjoying the season.

Have a great week everyone x

Weekly Plan - 18th October 2021
Monday             Potato Topped Steak and Vegetable Pie, Cabbage

Tuesday             Chicken Taco Salad, Spanish Rice

Wednesday        Crockpot Pork Chops and Onion Gravy, Mashed Potato, Corn

Birthday Dinner

Fish and Chips...UK style

Saturday            Stuffed Cheese Burgers

Sunday               Chili Mac and Cheese

Saturday 16 October 2021

The Pumpkin Farm...

Today MrD and I took a break from working at the house and drive out to a local pumpkin patch to see what we could find. 
What an amazing place. 
and pumpkins everywhere.. 
even hanging from arbors. 
A corn maze.. 
a funfair, rides and a huge corn pit for the kids..with real corn!
There were side shows and entertainments..
onion cannons.. shooting real onions
and a farm petting zoo.. 
with all my favourites...
and MrD's
He even made a new friend.
We had an amazing couple of hours
and they do a Christmas patch too .. I think it will be worth a visit!

Love and Hugs
Phoebe x