Homemade Fall Simmering Potpurri


Hi there, friends!

Update on Hubby… the angiogram went well! There was some blockage that the doctor cleared, but his stents look great and there was no need for additional stents. Yay! He needs to take it easy for a few days, and I’ll see to that! 

Now, onto today’s post…

IT’S FALL!! 🍁🍂🍁🍂🍁

Yes, I know, for most of you, fall began over a month ago. Well, here in the desert, we continue to see minimal evidence of the change of seasons. If it weren’t for stores displaying tons of fall product, we would assume it was still summer.

Why, you may ask? The picture below will most likely answer any questions you may have. Yep. We are still experiencing temperatures in the 90’s at the end of October! 🌡


While I have not begun to enjoy nice, brisk mornings,  I am more than mentally ready for fall! I’ve decorated, bought the 10# can of pumpkin, and have prepared some fall “comfort food”. However, this year I have added a new task to my “fall plan”… making homemade potpurri. 

For the past few years (probably even longer), it seems as if simmering potpurri has disappeared. I am a child of the 70-80’s and I vividly recall the days when almost everyone had some wonderfully smelling (yep, I just used that phrase) potpurri simmering in a potpurri pot or in a pot on the stove. Anyone remember these?


They were cute little Crockpots that we used for simmering potpurri. The one pictured above is an exact replica of the one I received as a young wife and used for many years. I cannot recall what happened to mine, but I think I’m going to have to try to find one on EBay! 

True, the days of simmering potpurri have given way to masses of candles and wax melts. Don’t get me wrong, I adore a great candle and melt, especially vanilla or cinnamon apple. But… my nose (and emotions) still yearn for a warm, fragrant pot of simmering potpurri in the fall. 

The best thing about potpurri, aside from the aroma? I’ll tell you…

  • It can be made from ingredients you already have in your kitchen
  • It only costs pennies to make
  • It can be put together in a matter of minutes 
  • It can be tailored to your choice of fragrance 

Well, that’s four “best things”, but you get the idea. 😄


Here’s how I made mine…

Homemade Simmering Potpurri

Ingredients:

  • Peels from 3-4 tangerines or other oranges
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 – 1 1/2 quarts water

Directions:

  • Combine all ingredients in a 2-3 quart pot and simmer. Check water level regularly and add water as needed.

[\recipe]

❤️Karen

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I’m Still Here!


Hi there, friends! Long time, no blog!

I have been absent for a few months, but I didn’t forget about all of you! I hope you all are doing well!

Things have been a little crazy in karensordinarylife life recently. I’ll fill you in…

Just a few days after my last post, our family moved into a “new” rental home. New to us, but a cute little 60’s era home. We love it! ❤️🏡❤️. We are still in the same town, but on the opposite end. For us, this means being a few miles away from the river and being surrounded by canals and farmland. 

The property is approximately four acres and the owner is planning to turn it into a small farm with chickens, pigs, and other little critters. I have never experienced any kind of farm life, but I love all little creatures (with the exception of snakes 🐍), so I’m going to have a lot of fun! 

The owner decided to start with chickens 🐔. He has a number of chicks and chickens at his home waiting for their home to get ready. Meanwhile, we have the first bunch (a rooster and some hens) at our house. I am really enjoying getting to know their habits and personalities! They make me laugh every day! I have also had the opportunity to care for the eggs and chicks during hatch. Oh my goodness!! They are adorable when they first enter the world! ❤️

As we were settling into our new home, Hubby began feeling under the weather. He has a history of heart and stomach issues, so we have been traveling the hundred miles back and forth to his doctor’s appointments. He had an ulcer cauterized early last month and began to feel better, but not 100%, so his cardiologist ordered an echocardiogram and angiogram. I’m am writing this post as I am waiting to help keep my mind occupied and calm. His bloodwork and other tests all look normal, so I’m praying it will go well.  I’ll update when I have information on his tests. 

Although I’m not sharing a recipe today, I have been working on a few things that I will share soon. For now, I’m sharing some photos of my new feathered friends. I need to work on my “chicken photo taking skills”, since they aren’t concerned with being cooperative. 😂

I am very excited to catch up with all of you and to begin posting again! 

Thanks for reading!

❤️Karen

Furry Family Member #3 – Houston

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Hi there, friends!

I hope you are having an awesome weekend! I wanted to take the time to introduce you to our third furry family member…Houston.

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Houston loves sleeping in small spaces that he wedges himself into.
Houston is a our oldest and only boy furry family member.  He is an eleven-year-old Jack Russell Terrier with a rough coat.

For the past ten years, Houston has been a happy, loyal, cherished member of our family. He came to us when he was a year old from a Chihuahua Rescue. Yep. A Chihuahua Rescue. We were told that there was nowhere else (that would not euthanize) for him to go, so they accepted him, knowing that his sweet nature would aid in his quick adoption.

The rescue staff was right! Houston was adopted by us during his first rescue event at our local PetSmart. Placed in the first kennel, at eye-level inside the door, we could not help but see his sweet face and wagging tail as we walked into the store . I knew as soon as I made eye contact with this little guy that he was going home with us!

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The day Houston joined our family!
He has been a source of unconditional love, loyalty, fun, and humor for our family and we hope that he will be with us for many years to come!! We love our “Pupster”. ❤️

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Enjoy! ❤️

Furry Family Member #2 – Bailee

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Hi there, friends!

Earlier this week, I introduced you to our first Furry Family Member, Babe.

Today, I am introducing you to our second Furry Family Member, Bailee. Bailee is our one and only kitty. She is six years old and we have had her since she was eight weeks old. She was picked out for me by my children as my fortieth birthday gift.

Bailee (then Lily) was up for adoption at the local veterinarian’s office. They were attempting to find a home for her after she had been left at the office door. Two of my girls had taken one of our other furry family members to get some shots and they saw Bailee in the front office. They spoke with the ladies at the front and learned that she needed a home. Immediately, they knew that I would love to be her human Mommy. ❤️

Later that day, after getting home from work, the girls invited me to “tag along” to pick up our other furry family member from the veterinarian. Needing to make a trip into town myself, I went along. When we got to the office, I walked in and immediately saw Bailee. It was love at first sight. ❤️

Since that day, she has been the sassiest, meow-ingest part of our family!

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Enjoy! ❤️

Furry Family Member of the Week- “Babe”

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Hi there, friends! I hope your weekend has been great!

This post is the first in a series of posts that have been a long time coming. I have been blogging for a little over two years now, and while I mention my hubby, kids, and animals, I have never really introduced them to my blogging community. Therefore, I have decided that I am going to try to “introduce” you to my family members (including my furry ones), one at a time.

Since I am a mom, I want to clarify that these posts will be written in no particular order. There is not one that is loved any more or less than any other. 🙂 They are all loved to infinity and beyond, and back again. Of course, this paragraph was included due to the small chance that my children may read these posts. 😉

The first (out of four) furry family member that I would like to introduce you to is Babe. Babe is our Boxer. She is a rescue dog that hubby took in 9 months prior to my arrival to our home. Her previous owner was unable to care for her, so she found her way to hubby’s heart very quickly. We are unsure of her exact age, but we estimate her to be about 6-7 years old.

Babe is unwavering in her love, affection, and loyalty. She has the most adorable under-bite and a personality to match. While she would never win any “doggie IQ” competitions, we would not trade her for the world! She is her daddy’s girl, and her momma’s shadow.

She brings endless joy and laughter to our home!IMG_0458DSCF1557 (2)IMG_6869 (2)

Enjoy! ❤

 

 

Blow It Up!

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Hi, there friends!

Summer is definitely here and the kids are out of school. This is the time when moms, dads, and caregivers look for any bit of entertainment to keep our young ones busy and engaged.

While I typically share recipes, I wanted to share with you a simple demonstration that you can do with your kids. All four of mine have loved doing this in the past. It is quick, easy, does not make a mess, and calls for common everyday household ingredients.

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In very simple scientific terms, you will be mixing a base (baking soda) with an acid (vinegar) to inflate a balloon. I have done this demonstration many times over the years and it never seems to get old. It obviously does not take too awful much to entertain me! 🙂

 

Here’s what you need and how you do it…

Blow It Up

  • Difficulty: Simple Science
  • Print

Materials:

  • 1 (16 ounce) water bottle, empty
  • 8 ounces vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 balloon
  • funnel

Procedure:

  • Pour the vinegar into the empty water bottle
  • Carefully roll the lip and neck of balloon over the end of the funnel.
  • Pour the baking soda through the funnel into the balloon, shaking to make sure it reaches the tip of the balloon.
  • Carefully place the lip and neck of the balloon over the vinegar-filled water bottle, making sure to keep the end with the baking soda from spilling into the vinegar.IMG_0967
  • Once the balloon is securely on top of the water bottle, life the tip with the baking soda in it upward to drop the baking soda into the bottle.IMG_0969
  • Watch the balloon inflate!IMG_0971

Enjoy! ❤

Spice Thyme!

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Hi there, friends!

It’s Frugal Friday and I have an idea for you on how to save on something that all of us have in our pantries…spices. For those of us that love to cook and/or bake, a wide variety of dried herbs and spices is a necessity to have on hand.

Over the years, however, I learned that spices can be quite pricey, especially if you purchase them in the pretty little bottles that line the supermarket aisle. Along with the expense, those pretty little bottles can present other problems. Often times, the amount in the jar is way more than we will use in their shelf expectancy, and other times, there is not enough for the amount we use on a regular basis.

Over the years, I have tried a couple of solutions to small avail. First, I tried the less expensive, slightly larger plastic bottles. These worked, however, I found very little variety with the limited spices offered. Secondly, I tried the very large plastic containers offered at club stores. Again, these worked, however, there was a very limited variety and some contained much more than I could use before they lost their freshness.

I understand that this may be a trivial expense for some, but I have a very limited food budget and spices can be a great way to make a hum-drum dinner into something great. So, I continued to search for a better way.

Finally, a few years ago, a new supermarket chain opened in our area, and I found a new way to purchase my spices. This supermarket offers a bulk foods area where a wide variety of foods from candies to pet foods to other food staples can be bagged in the amount the customer desires and charged by the pound. Included in the staples they offer is dried herbs and spices. I can buy as little or as much of a spice I will use before the freshness is gone. Woohoo! 🙂

I know you may be thinking that a lower price tag is great, but what about those cute little bottles we all love? Well, I have a solution for you! Many years ago, I purchased several dozen plain glass spice bottles for less than $1.00 per bottle and I am still using them today. When you figure the cost saved between a plain bottle containing bulk spice and one of the cutesy bottles, it is a no-brainer. I still have the cute bottles and I’m saving money.

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I have one more frugal tip for you… What to do with the extra herbs and spices that do not fit in the little jar? This happens with several of the spices I buy, such as chili powder, garlic, cinnamon and some others, because I use so much of these that I buy them in large amounts. Well, another item that I buy A LOT of comes in handy with this problem. Peanut butter. I simply take my empty peanut butter jars, remove the label, wash them well, and use them for any extra herbs and spices that do not fit in the bottle.

Have a great weekend!

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Enjoy! ❤

Happy Dog Day!

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Hi there friends!  Happy Dog Day!

I know it’s a little late in the day, but better late than never, right?  It’s been a crazy couple of weeks around here, but I wanted to be sure to wish you all a Happy Dog Day.

I’m sure that most of you feel the same way I do about my puppies.  They bring so much love, joy and humor to our lives, and we are blessed to have each one of them.

I hope all of your “puppy-babies” had a great day!

Karen ❤

Dog Versus Rattlesnake

Hi there friends!

Before you begin reading, I would like to warn you that this is a very long post, but I had to write it.  I hope you understand.

I know I haven’t blogged in a little while.  I’m looking forward to catching up on all of everyone’s posts as soon as I can.

I’ve been absent because we had an emergency at the beginning of last week involving two of our furry family members.  Houston (our Jack Russell) and Babe (our Boxer) had an altercation with a rattlesnake.

It all started at about 8 in the morning while I was in the kitchen washing dishes and the dogs were hanging out in the backyard for a little while before it became too hot to be outside. As I was washing dishes, our third dog (Zoey) barked and then Houston chimed in with the “something’s wrong” bark.  I immediately went to our side window to look out and see if someone was at the fence.  Nope.  Nothing. Except the sound of wrestling against the inside of the fence.

With the feeling that something was wrong, I ran to the dining room window so I could see what was happening in the yard.  When I got there, they had gotten quiet.  There was good reason for the immediate silence.  Houston had, what looked like at the time a large stick in his mouth and Babe was trying to take it from him.  As soon as I could focus on the situation I realized right away that it was a snake they were fighting over and Houston wasn’t about to give it up.

While trying to remain calm (I hate snakes), I yelled to my oldest son in his room that they had a snake.  When I turned around, Houston had thrown the snake down…

And that’s when I saw…THE RATTLES…

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Oh my goodness.  My dogs were out there with a RATTLESNAKE!  I sprinted to the door and screamed (I usually top out at yelling) for the dogs to get inside.  Upon running inside, Babe and Zoey came to my son and I and Houston ran to my bedroom and underneath the bed.

After performing a quick inspection, we didn’t see any apparent injuries on Babe and Zoey.  Since Houston was the one with the snake in his mouth, we knew that we needed to get to him to check him out.  As my son was at the bottom of the bed trying to coax him out, I could see him from the backside of the bed and I saw blood on his side.  Panicked, I called his name in a way I’m sure he’s never heard before to get him out.

He ran out from under the bed and back out to the dining room where my youngest son caught him and immediately welled up with tears saying he had blood all over his face.  My oldest son and I got to them and both of us looked at each other knowing this was really bad.  We had no time to waste.

My youngest son held Houston while my oldest son took a damp washcloth to help stop the bleeding and clean his cute, furry face.  Meanwhile I called Hubby to tell him I was on the way to get him from work (thank God he only works 10 minutes away) so we could immediately take Houston to the vet.  I woke my daughter (who could sleep through a mass murderer being in the house) and quickly gave her the run-down so she could assist her brothers and re-check the other dogs for any injuries.

As Hubby and I were on our way back to get Houston, he called the veterinarian in town (we only have one in our area), so they would know that we were bringing him in within the next few minutes.  The receptionist explained that any type of treatment was going to be extremely expensive and that we would have to put down a minimum of  a $400 deposit to start.  We knew that we would be able to cover the deposit with the help of my wonderful, sympathetic mother-in-law, so we could at least get him seen and hopefully speak with the vet to see if we could make arrangements.

Even though Hubby was like a father expecting his first baby driving to the hospital, it seemed like one of the longest rides of my life.  It was actually only about 10 minutes.  Ten minutes too long when you’re terrified that this may be the last ride your baby-puppy dog ever takes.  Here was this 10 year old, brave, loyal, loving, ever wagging little guy wrapped in a bath towel laying in my lap, weak and in pain.  I refused to cry.  I had to keep my spirits up for him.  I needed to help him feel that it was going to be okay and that I wasn’t giving up on him so he wouldn’t give up on himself.  All while knowing that if he wasn’t going to be okay, that I would have to be the one to give permission for him to be put to sleep.

The veterinarian’s office was prepared for us when we got there.  They led us into the room right away and the veterinarian followed right behind.  He listened to the details of the altercation while looking over Houston’s injuries, then looked at a picture of the snake.  He was pretty sure that it was a Diamond Back but there is another rattlesnake that is found in our area that is much more deadly, so he asked me to bring the snake back if possible.

Let me state once again…I HATE SNAKES.  I know there are beneficial snakes around, but these are not them.  BUT, it was for my Houston.  Of course I was going to bring this snake back, no matter how freaked out I was.  I am a momma.  It’s what mommas do.

The veterinarian then explained that we had three options.  #1- Administer the antivenin ($450 on top of the $400 deposit), antibiotics and fluids.  #2- Hope it was a “dry-bite” and forgo the antivenin and give antibiotics and fluids (which the $400 would cover).  And finally #3- Do nothing and take him home.

Unfortunately, due to our financial situation, we had to speak with him before treatment about cost, payment and possible arrangement.  We learned that it was going to be close to $1000 for everything and that the only arrangement that they had was for us to pay a portion that day and the rest the next day.  Both Hubby and I were heartbroken.  There was no way for us to come up with that much money, especially that soon.

So, we had to take our chances and select option #2 Forgo the antivenin and give antibiotics and fluids with a night’s stay at the veterinarian’s office.  At the time, we were somewhat optimistic that it was a dry bite because some time had passed and his breathing was normal and his body wasn’t showing signs of shutting down.  We had to have hope and believe our little warrior would pull through without the antivenin.

With heavy hearts, we left our little guy in the very capable hands of the veterinarian and his staff, knowing that they would do everything they could to see him through.  I dropped Hubby off back at work and headed home.  I arrived at home at about 9:30 am.  I sat in the car for a moment feeling like I had been through a week’s worth of war in just an hour and a half.  If I felt that bad, I couldn’t imagine how terrible Houston must have felt.

I then remembered that I had to return to the veterinarian’s office with the dead snake in tow.  And that meant I would actually have to get this thing in a box, carry said box, put it in the car and then carry that same box into the office.  Yes, I know, the snake was dead.  But, quite honestly, it was creeping me out a little bit.  Not only do I hate snakes (I think I mentioned earlier) but this one really hurt my baby puppy.  On top of that, I had to remain brave, calm and confident for my kids.

Armed with an empty box and my daughter and sons in tow, I headed out to the back porch to load a dead snake.  Of course my sons wanted to see the snake because they’re typical boys, but I was surprised that my daughter wanted to join in.  She stated that she was very proud of her “puppy brother” and was curious to see his kill…plus it was most definitely dead.  I honestly think she wanted to prove to herself that she could handle being that close to even a dead snake.  Believe me, I can understand that!  I am always supportive of anyone, especially my kids, in their attempt to overcome their fears.

After telling the kids to stand way back and attempting not to shake, I reached for our large snow shovel (for us, it’s a pooper scooper) and started to slowly sachet him onto the shovel.  Then it happened.  When I moved him, his mouth opened!  Yes, it was just because his muscles were relaxed from death, but for a moment, I felt panic set in.  Needless to say, his open mouth frightened the kids a bit.  So, to prove to them, and to make myself a little calmer, I got our pointed shovel.

Full of hesitation, I stood there with the shovel.  As much as I hate snakes, I don’t have an ounce of the killer instinct in my body.  I know, he was already dead, but to actually strike something that had once been a living creature, was definitely proving difficult to me.  Just then, another instinct took over.  I may have zero killer instinct, but just like any mom, I have immeasurable momma instinct.  This instinct kicks in for my furry kids, just as it does for all of my babies.  Simply put, this creature was the cause for the life threatening injuries to my little guy.  Just as Houston was intent on protecting his family from harm, I was intent on proving to my kids that this snake’s life was undeniably over. Then,  I did it.  I struck the snake in the neck area.  I took the pooper scooper shovel and placed it in the box.

Then back to the veterinarian’s office my oldest son and I went.  I’m sure he wanted to be supportive of Houston and myself along with keeping busy so he could deal with the reality of the possible outcome.  No matter how positive I was trying to be, my kids are not typically oblivious to reality, but they understood that staying positive might be the only thing that could help Houston pull through.  My kids, like myself, believe that we have a better chance of a positive outcome through maintaining a positive attitude.

Fast forward to about six hours after the initial incident.  Babe, our other dog that was involved in the altercation, walked into the kitchen looking depressed with a swollen right lip.  But, wait, all four of us had checked and rechecked her and Zoey for bites earlier.  What could we have missed?  We looked again and the only thing that we could see was what appeared to be a small scab from something else, not a snake bite, so we determined that maybe she had been bitten in the mouth.  But there was no blood or any other symptoms other than the swollen lip.  On top of only having a swollen lip, we couldn’t put together why it would have taken that long to show up if she had been bitten by the snake.

With already having Houston at the veterinarian’s office and all of our financial sources completely depleted, we had no option, but to keep Babe at home and under our care.  Hubby and I were both in shock and at a loss of what to do other than give her large doses of love and continuous attention.  Basically, stay right there with her, talk to her and not leave her side. We had gone from bad to worse and then to even worse.  Not only was Houston fighting for his life at the veterinarian’s office, Babe might have to do the same, only at home with no antibiotics or IV fluids.

Then the swelling spread to her lower neck.

This was terrible.  It was not in any way a case of choosing one dog over the other, it was a case of taking the dog that showed injuries for emergency care and then having no further financial resources to take the other dog when she started to show symptoms of an injury. The only thing I could do was to start researching all kinds of home care and treatment for possible rattlesnake bites.  With Babe by my side, I spent a couple hours reading all kinds of things on the internet.  I learned what symptoms and signs to watch for and decided that the “love and attention plan” was most likely the best choice that we had at the time.

It had to work.  We couldn’t lose either one of them.  They are our furry family members.  Babe is our comic relief that keeps us in stitches with her goofy quirks and habits.  Houston is our sweet, loving protector that has been through some difficult times with the kids and I.  We weren’t ready to say goodbye.  I know that we never are, but don’t we all want them to just go to sleep and pass from old age?  We definitely didn’t want to lose them through their protection of us.

While Houston rested at the veterinarian’s office with antibiotics and IV fluids, Babe spent the night sleeping on Hubby’s lap on the sofa.  And Momma tossed and turned all night.  How they react the first 24 hours is vital.  We were hoping with everything we had that Babe wouldn’t develop diarrhea.  It’s a very bad sign.

By the next morning, Babe had made it through without any diarrhea and she was eating, drinking and using the restroom just fine.  The swelling had gone down just a bit and she was still pretty weak, but eating and drinking on her own were very good signs.  It meant she wasn’t giving up on herself and she knew we weren’t giving up on her.

When I called the veterinarian’s office to hear how Houston was doing, they told me that he was still very sick and that they wanted to keep him another day.  I’m sure that the receptionist could hear the desperation in my voice and she told me that I could come visit him if I wanted to.

Later that afternoon, Hubby and I went to visit him while the kids watched over Babe.  We went to the back and walked up to the cage where he was trying to recover.  He was resting on a cute little fleece blanket with his food and water right within reach.  I quietly said his name.  No reaction.  I said it again, a little louder this time.  Still no reaction.  No reaction from the little guy that always wags at me with just a moment of eye contact?  Quite scared, I reached out and stroked his back, kissed his head and said “momma’s here”.  He then opened his left eye (his right was swollen shut) and looked at me.  He had a quick look of relief in his eye, but his face was so swollen and he didn’t even attempt to move.

That was the first moment that I actually felt in my heart that we might lose him.  The day and hours before, I was so full of adrenaline that my positive attitude had not wavered.  He looked so much worse than the day before.  But then I remembered that everything I read said that he would get worse before he got better.  My positive attitude renewed within seconds.  I could not give him the feeling that I was questioning if he was going to be okay.  I reassured him that even though he felt so bad that he was a brave little warrior that was going to get better.  And that I would be back.  This separation, although very necessary was only temporary.  I kissed his head, told him I loved him, thanked the staff for letting us visit and told them that I would call the next morning.

The next morning, Babe woke up and looked like nothing had happened!   We attribute this to possibly just being nicked by the snake since Houston was the one in possession of the snake during the incident.  We never found a puncture wound, only a scratch, which would explain the lack of blood.  So her infection was probably minor compared to Houston’s serious puncture wounds that continued to bleed.

After nine, I called to check on Houston.  I  was anxious because I knew that we would have to bring him home no matter his condition because our total had reached the amount of what had already been paid.  After the receptionist spoke with the doctor, she told me that although his condition had worsened, the doctor was still optimistic that Houston would pull through, but he wanted to keep him another night.  In tears, I explained to the receptionist that we couldn’t leave him for another night because we had topped out on our bill.  She reassured me that it was covered and that he could spend another night.

I hung up the phone and started to cry.  I was so thankful that the office was working with our budget, but I was deflated from learning that his condition had gotten worse.  All I could do was remain positive when I explained to the kids that Houston would be gone for another day and work on preparing everything that I could for when he did come home.  He was going to come home.  I couldn’t think any differently.

On Friday morning (the third day), I called the veterinarian’s office once more.  Thankfully, there was better news!  He was off the fluids and had eaten some food.  We could bring him home.  Finally!

A minute or two after my oldest son and I were led into a room, the veterinarian carried Houston in and carefully sat him down on the cold metal table.  Houston saw us and slightly perked up while the doctor explained his present condition, what we should look for and what we could do.  He emphasized that Houston was nowhere near being out of the woods, but that there wasn’t anything more that could be done for him and that going home would be best for him.  We would just have to watch over him, give him his antibiotics and wait it out.

That was Friday morning.  It is now two and a half days later, Sunday afternoon, and our little warrior continues to improve every day!  It will be awhile (it can take 10 -14 days for full recovery) until he’s back to normal, but he immediately got perkier on Friday after he came home.  Don’t we all feel better when we’re at home recovering?  On Saturday, he began wagging again, and today, his kisses returned!  He’s getting stronger bit by bit and is eager to guard his yard again.

His resilience is so much better than mine right now.  I’m so hesitant to have the dogs in the backyard by themselves.

We live on an acre of property and this snake was the whole way up on the back porch within 15 feet of the backdoor.  We’ve been here a little over three years and have seen only one other snake, a gopher snake (what they say is a good snake) and it was a lot further away from the house.  I would feel so much better if I knew why he was so close to the house.  Was it because our neighbor had dragged his yard a couple days before and disturbed his home or maybe it was because we had a massive downpour earlier that morning and he was trying to find somewhere dry to go?  I don’t know.

It’s alarming to me, because even though I hate snakes, I understand some of their nature.  Rattlesnakes don’t like to be around people or other things that frighten them, such as dogs, so why did he choose to come in the fence of my backyard?  I’ll never know.

So, I will keep a vigilant eye out for signs of any slithery intruders and make sure that I keep our furry family members’ playground as safe as possible…all why trying to remain calm.

I know that I will begin to relax and calm down.  It will just take time.  Time that we, as a family, will get to spend with our treasured furry family members.  I cannot begin to express how blessed I feel.  It humbles me to think that we had two of our three dogs hurt by a rattlesnake and they both are going to be okay.  I firmly believe that a positive attitude helps even in difficult times and it’s wonderful when that belief is proven.

For those of you that were patient with me and actually read this in it’s entirety, I would love to say a very heartfelt THANK YOU!  It has been a hard 5 days and this outlet has truly helped.

Love,

Karen ❤

 

 

 

 

 

Frugal Friday – Wall Decor on the Cheap

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Hi there friends!

It’s Frugal Friday and I’m so excited!  I’ve been waiting for a Frugal Friday post to share this with you!

A couple of weeks ago, Hubby and the boys took me out for the day to celebrate my birthday.  It was an awesome day!  I was instructed by all three of my guys that it was my day and that I was to choose where we went and what we did.  I have some pretty great men in my life, don’t I? ❤

One of the things I chose to do was to take a gander through Hobby Lobby.  We have to drive at least an hour and a half to the closest location, so it’s a treat that only happens every so often. Since I don’t get to shop there on a regular basis, I have a very specific method of how go about a Hobby Lobby visit…

  1. This is always the first step…shop the clearance section.  This usually takes most of my time because they always seem to have great stuff on clearance.  I’m talking about aisles and aisles of clearance with a wide variety of items and they don’t hold back on clearance prices.  My discounts on this trip varied from 66% – 90%.  Yes!  That says NINETY percent.
  2. After the clearance shopping, I check the items on the weekly sale.  This is where I’ll get something that isn’t seasonal and most likely won’t go on clearance.  That is, if I haven’t spent all of my small budget on clearance items.  Lol. 🙂
  3. Lastly, I’ll look at the other items I like and hope they’re on sale or clearance the next trip.

I know it sounds like a process, but honestly, I do this in most stores, not just Hobby Lobby.  It has become second nature to me and it has saved me a lot of money.  I do have one major rule- I don’t buy anything that I don’t need or won’t use.  Basically, I don’t just buy something because it’s “a great deal”.

This Hobby Lobby trip was definitely a birthday treat!!  My total (with 8% sales tax) was $20.58 for all the items pictured below.

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A couple cute wall hangings for my boys’ room.  Both were 90% off!
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A little addition for Hubby’s grill area.  With the 66% discount, it was only $3.06.
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Cute little shelf block.  I love when I find anything with the “Q” for our last name!  Ninety percent off just sweetens the deal.
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A nice, large picture for our bedroom.  Regularly $39.99. but it came home with me for only $8.00!
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And the last little trinket.  I just couldn’t pass on the ice cream cone!  For $1.70, it was less expensive than most real ice cream cones. 🙂

Remember, always check the clearance section if you enjoy saving your hard-earned money.  You may not always find something, but it doesn’t hurt to check and sometimes you may hit “pay dirt”!

Enjoy! ❤