Na Na pinches her pennies (aka frugal living)

Shh… don't tell anyone I'm poor. They all think I'm living frugal and green just like everyone these days. This is a blog about a senior citizen living a frugal life, on a fixed income, in a low income food desert, and passing along knowledge from lessons learned. Some she learned from her Grandma Mama many years ago and some learned only a few days ago.

Life happens

Sorry for the long delay posting.  I’ll explain where I’ve been and hopefully over the next couple of days I can get back to normal.  In my last post I wrote about having another episode of chronic fatigue syndrome which knocked me off my feet for a week.  The symptoms are exactly like having a bad case of flu but it isn’t real flu.  I get the aches, chills, fever, stuffy nose, and all.  It always happens when I exhaust myself doing too much.

Just as I was feeling better and getting back to normal my two year old grandson, Spanky, got his hands on some charcoal lighter fluid and tried to drink it.  As soon as he tasted it he spit it out but also started coughing which caused some of the liquid to get into his lungs.  If you’ve ever coughed because you swallowed wrong that’s kind of like what happened to him.  Spanky has asthma so anything effecting his lungs is serious.  He spent several days in the hospital intensive care with pneumonia.  He is well now and the doctors say there won’t be any long term effects for him.

Well, as soon as Spanky went home the storms from hurricane Alberto came through Kentucky.  That night and over the next day we had severe storms with high winds and flash flooding.  Lots of trees came down all over the county.  One of them was right here on our street.

I wasn’t about to go outside during a storm to take a photo of the power lines.  It didn’t take long for the fire department to show up and the power shut down.  Did you know the quickest way to get a response from a utility company is to get the fire department at the scene first?  It is in our area.  The utility will ignore regular phone calls from customers but can’t ignore the fire department.

It took eight days for my lights to come back on.  Power is restored by priority.  Street lights first, nursing homes second, schools third, and so forth.  Neighborhoods are last.  No power meant no phone, no internet, no tv, no quilting, nothing.  Well, almost.  I do have a gas stove so I could cook.  Thankfully the refrigerator was almost empty.  I had just bought several pounds of black seedless grapes intending to can them.  Which I did.

Canning grapes (or any fruit) is easy.  No pressure canner is needed.  I canned 14 pints then quit.  I had thought I’d make juice with the rest but changed my mind.  I gave the other grapes to neighbors.  Maybe next year when the black grapes are cheap again I’ll make juice.   Or maybe some grape jam.

Are you curious about how I use canned grapes that is not a jam?  Grape cobbler and grape pie of course.  Pick any fruit cobbler recipe and use grapes as the fruit.   Pick any berry pie recipe and use grapes as the berry.  Black grapes taste very much like cherries when cooked in a cobbler or a pie.

Before I could get this posted Ladybug did something to the computer and now it needs to go to the computer doctor.  I barely managed to get into my wordpress account in order to finish this post.  I’m not sure how long it will take but hopefully not longer than a week.

 

 

26 comments on “Life happens

  1. KAYTHEGARDENER
    June 16, 2018

    Glad to hear the little fellow is doing better! Grandkids can tug our heartstrings even more than children sometimes.
    Maybe his new nickname should be “Spunky”!!

    • Anita
      June 16, 2018

      Hee, hee, you are right it should be Spunky.

  2. stephanie
    June 7, 2018

    Anita, I wish you peace and a respite from the troubles you’ve been having, I know myself, that May was a big waste of a month for me. You seem to have a better than average attitude about things, so you’re one step ahead of the rest of us when things are so trouble-bundled together…. Aloha from an Island where now over 700 or more people have lost their homes to the volcano eruption. 😦
    thanks for sharing your experiences … steph

    • Anita
      June 9, 2018

      Oh my Stephanie, I can only imagine the stress you may be going through. I’ve seen the news about the volcano there as well as the one in Guatemala. I do hope you are safe. My troubles seem so minor compared to what other people are enduring around the world.

  3. lilli
    June 7, 2018

    Oh my, I hope that sweet child is ok. Just the thought of this horrifies me. I am sorry that your week has not been great. Doing without electricity is horrible. The child decided to cook up a 20 lb bag of rice while I was out of the house. Guess what we will be eating? I guess that picture of your mostly empty refrigerator was a good thing. I lost my bank card, the internet payment didn’t go through. I’m waiting for a new card. Grrrr. That’s my only indulgence. I do have some books and movies loaded to our Kindles. I had not one penny on me so until that card comes, we are at home. Great way to save money! I have been listening to a book about living in the very moment and enjoying it. Happy to have books, dvds and music. I hope your computer repair won’t be expensive. The only warranties I have our on my Kindle and laptop. Amazon makes it easy as well as the Walmart plan. After 3 repairs in two years, they refund your purchase price by gift card. I sometimes add a little to it and up grade. This is a cycle that has been very beneficial. For about 50.00 every two years, I get a new computer that is serviced for two full years if I have problems. Took your suggestion and spent 5 dollars at the drugstore. Each week I take the rewards and keep rolling them for free non-food items. Lady, you are a genius. Can’t wait to see what that one SNAP purchase will keep rolling and buying us.

    • Anita
      June 9, 2018

      Twenty pounds of rice is a lot. You do know you can freeze cooked rice?

      Yes, it was good the fridge was almost empty during the power outage. Didn’t loose much food. Actually, my empty fridge picture was showing I really don’t need a hugh family sized one to keep only a few items. To me that’s just wasting electricity. I really want a much smaller one more suited for a single person. A bit larger than a dorm room size but not full size.

      Hee, hee, you caught on to the reward benefits. I don’t get snap but I do use the rewards to stretch my money. Lately the rewards in our area are not as good. It goes in cycles so I’ll wait it out. I’m interested in more information about those warranty plans and how you get a new computer. Where do you take it if there is need of repair? Do you get a hassle over using the warranty? Is it a particular brand computer or any? Laptops and neat books too?

  4. Margie in Toronto
    June 6, 2018

    So sorry that you’ve had such a crazy couple of weeks – but very happy to hear that the little one should be fine – that must have been so frightening for you all.
    I have fibromyalgia and RA and if I get a flare up it hits me like CF – low grade fevers, terrible fatigue and joints feel like they ar eon fire! Only thing to do is to rest and hope it passes quickly. I’ve learned to pace myself over the years so that attacks are fewer and further apart – but every now and again…..
    8 days without power – that’s awful! I think the longest that I’ve gone is about 4 days a couple of summers ago – although other parts of the city have experienced longer outages – it really makes you aware of how reliant we are on electricity in our modern world.
    I love grapes – frozen ones are a lovely treat in the hot weather. Black grapes are my favourite – such a lovely sweet taste!
    I hope your computer gets sorted and that things quieten down for you over the next week or so. Take care.

    • Anita
      June 9, 2018

      You do know what its like to have the flu without actually having the flu. Yes, every now and then it flares without an apparent cause. Like you I do pace myself as much as possible. Explaining to others is very difficult. People don’t understand recurring episodes without apparent causes.

      I use frozen grapes as a summertime treat. Its like eating a grape popsicle without all the high fructose corn syrup. The do bring down my core body temp on hot days.

  5. Marybeth C
    June 6, 2018

    I’m so glad your grandson is alright. That must have been so scary. We live right near a fire station so we always get our power restored quickly. After Super Storm Sandy we had our power back after 4 hours. 3 houses down didn’t have it for 2 weeks. Same for the houses behind us. Who knew living so close to a fire house had its perks.

    • Anita
      June 9, 2018

      Hmm.. great perk you have there. Grandson is home and doing fine. No lasting effects expected.

  6. Linda in NE
    June 6, 2018

    Wow, 8 days with no electric! I’ll bet the less prepared people were just about paralyzed with that situation.

    I always found that the best way to keep my grandkids from messing up my computer was to set up a separate grandkid account that was NOT an administrative account. That limited the damage they could do. I can do enough damage on my own! LOL

    • Anita
      June 9, 2018

      Great idea, I’m going to do that. I saw my neighbors were picking up fast food everyday. That would have wrecked my budget. Thank goodness I have a gas stove that works in a power outage and plenty of canned food in storage.

  7. craftytadpole
    June 6, 2018

    Thank goodness your grandson is okay. That was a close one. Hopefully calmness descends and you get a chance to relax.

    • Anita
      June 9, 2018

      Yes, I relaxed over the last three days. Spent time sorting out a few things on my computer and staying cool.

  8. silveryew
    June 6, 2018

    Eight days, good grief. Well done you for sitting it out (well, not like you had a choice in the matter). Gosh it seems like everything happens at once when bad things happen.:(

    • Anita
      June 9, 2018

      It gave me plenty of time to practice some survival skills. Like staying cool without AC in 90 degree heat and hand washing clothes.

  9. T
    June 6, 2018

    ‘Never rains but it pours’ my grandmother used to say…

    Here’s wishing for a little peace for you the rest of the summer!

    • Anita
      June 6, 2018

      Thank you, I could sure use some relief for a spell.

  10. Julie
    June 6, 2018

    Wow! You have had quite the time. I’m glad you are getting through it. Also, I’m really glad your grandson is going to be ok. Life really does have its ups and downs. Love your posts but, its definitely understandable and you have to take care of you and your family, that’s what is really important.

    • Anita
      June 6, 2018

      Thank you Julie. Life does happen.

  11. Kathi
    June 6, 2018

    Oh MY Anita. ALWAYS something, isn’t it? I feel loosing power is one of the WORST things that can happen. We are so used to electricity and all we use it for, it is near impossible for us to function. Happy to hear your grandson will be Ok. Let’s hope things settle down your way. Our way, well, it just keeps getting more and more crazy. But, on we go.

    • Anita
      June 6, 2018

      Yes, always something. Kids are so QUICK. He’ll be fine. I’d much rather loose power than to loose water.

  12. Leslie Saunders
    June 6, 2018

    I’m sorry you’ve had so,much to deal with. Sometimes,it seems as if everything happens at once, and it can feel pretty overwhelming. Hope by the time you are reading this, that things are better.

    • Anita
      June 9, 2018

      Yes, things are much better and Spanky is home doing fine. Thank you.

  13. Sandy
    June 6, 2018

    Here’s hoping your life settles down soon.

  14. sarasinart
    June 6, 2018

    You sure have had an awful time! I hope things can get back to normal now.

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This entry was posted on June 6, 2018 by in Canning, COOKING FOR ONE OR TWO, DIABETES AND FOOD BANKS.

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