Thrifty Thursday

The sign on the road.

The sign on the road.

This week we happened to be in the Dallas, Georgia area, and had a little bit of time to kill. We have been wanting to stop at the Blue Chicken Auction and Thrift Store ever since we saw the first time two years ago but have never had time before.

The Blue Chicken Thrift Store in Dallas, GA

The Blue Chicken Thrift Store in Dallas, GA

Their sign by the road is funny. This thrift shop is huge! It was several rooms and an upstairs.

the blue chicken thrift store dallas georgia

The second building that we didn’t get to this time.

There were lots of things to see,  but it was hot in some of the rooms so we need to go back when the weather cools off, and there has been time for the collection of stuff has had a chance to turn over.

the blue chicken thrift store

This is just a small part of the main building that the store occupies.

I saw a lot of things I liked or thought were unique. I absolutely loved this sign:

junk and disorderly

Love it! I am going to make one for myself.

I saw this vintage sewing machine as soon as I walked in the door. I really wish I had a place to put it.

vintage sewing machine at the blue chicken thrift store.

Vintage sewing machine, $14.98! I wish I had a place to put it.

Apparently there was an instrumental band called The Harmonicats in 1947. I wish I had bought that album now. It’s just a bit of Americana.

harmonicats album

This album called Harmonicats was interesting.

I walked away from this pretty mirror twice, but wound up buying to use in the bedroom. I think it’s pretty.$12: deal or not?

blue chicken thrift store

I did buy this mirror.

We left this at the shop. It’s another thing I wish I had gone ahead and bought. I could have framed it and hung over by Fabgrandpa’s computer desk.

blue chicken thrift store

Frank Zappa Chunga’s Revenge

It has been a long long time since I saw a real pogo stick. I think this was the most dangerous toy ever made.

Blue chicken thrift store dallas ga

A pogo stick

I had some troll dolls when I was a child, in the early 1960’s. One of these almost came home with me, but I changed my mind. If I were to buy one, it would be one of the smaller ones if I ever see one.

troll dolls

I had some of these in the early 1960’s.

I love this little chicken salt shaker, but the mate to it was missing. It was  made in Japan, so it is probably from the early 1940’s I would guess. It’s just so cute to me.

blue chicken thrift store, dallas ga

A chicken salt shaker. The pepper shaker was no where to be found.

Fabgrandpa found two things he liked. The first one was this travel alarm clock. It folds into a small size.  He used to have one similar to it for years, but it finally quit working. $2.88 Deal or not?

Timex Travel Alarm Clock

Fabgrandpa bought this Timex Travel Alarm Clock.

This cute ceramic bird from Mexico had a tag with the price written on it, and the words “hurt foot”. It does indeed have a broken foot, but Fabgrandpa loved it enough to bring it home and let it live on the kitchen windowsill. $2.00 Deal or not?

Ceramic bird from Mexico

This cute bird had a tag that said “hurt foot.”

The last thing I got was this metal wall sculpture of a grape vine in a pot. It is going on the wall in the kitchen. I have been looking at things like this online and they are very expensive, at least the ones I like are. The new ones I have seen are in the $80 and up range. I paid $15 for this one. Deal or not?

metal wall sculpture of grape vine in a vase

I love this metal wall sculpture. It is a green-black color that will fit in very well with my kitchen colors.

Did  you go thrifting this week? What treasures did you find? If you love going to thrift shops and junk stores, here is a website with a forum  you might like: ThriftShopper.com.

Pork Tenderloin With Ginger Cherry Sauce

Ginger Cherry Sauce

Ginger Cherry Sauce

The outside temperature in Georgia today was only a high of 84. Since there was a break in the heat, I decided to cook out on the grill today. I had a pork tenderloin in the fridge, and some cherries. I decided to make a cherry sauce for the pork.

Ginger Cherry Sauce

2 cups dark red cherries

2 green onions

2-4 cloves garlic

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

1/2 cup water

2 Tbls Spenda

1  tsp ground Ginger

1/2 tsp Chinese Five Spice powder

Pit the cherries, and cut them into two or three pieces. Chop the onions and garlic. Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan. Stir well to combine, and cook on medium heat until the liquid is reduced by half. Stir often to prevent burning.

Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Ginger Cherry Sauce

Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Ginger Cherry Sauce

To cook my pork tenderloin, I rinsed and dried it, then sprinkled generously with meat tenderizer and black pepper. Cut in half, and put in a disposable 8″X8″ aluminum pan. Pour all Ginger Cherry Sauce over the pork, reserving about 1/3 cup.

Place the pan uncovered on a charcoal grill with hot coals. Close the cover of the grill, and let the pork cook for 25 minutes. Turn the meat over, baste with sauce from the pan, close the grill, and cook another 10 minutes. Serve with reserved sauce.

Pork tenderloin with Ginger Cherry Sauce and grilled vegetables.

Pork tenderloin with Ginger Cherry Sauce and grilled vegetables.

This turned out so good! Tender, moist, and very tasty.

This Week In My Garden

For your viewing pleasure. I love to sit on the porch and just look at the plants. It makes me happy to see them. And yes, I do talk to them. I tell them every morning how beautiful they are. I water it every day that it doesn’t rain, and give the plants a dose of Miracle Grow once a week, twice if it rains a lot.

IMG_2181

The geranium started blooming this week.

IMG_2187

Fabgrandpa loves moss rose. It will bloom all summer.

IMG_2191

The cucumbers are growing wild!

IMG_2193

It won’t be long now.

IMG_2195

Hanging on…

IMG_2197

These tomatoes will be the first ones to ripen.

IMG_2198

Sweet potato still growing. I’m going to have to find a trellis for it soon.

IMG_2200

Bright pink petunia. This one is in a hanging basket.

IMG_2202

MMMMMM….Basil. It smells so good. I have cut it twice and it is growing fast.

IMG_2203

One little eggplant so far. I hope it makes some more.

IMG_2206

Red bell pepper.

IMG_2207

This tomato plant for so heavy it fell over. I had to reposition the branches.

IMG_2209

Purple petunias add some color to the front row.

IMG_2213

Flat leaf parsley. I like the curly parsley better but couldn’t find any.

IMG_2214

Basil again. I love basil in just about anything.

IMG_2218

A purple heirloom tomato. I can’t wait for it to ripen!

IMG_2220

I love this garden. The brick and board idea was a good one.

IMG_2223

I think it makes the porch more attractive, and a nice place to sit and watch the day go by.

Do you have a garden this year? What are you growing in it?

Just Some Miscellaneous Stuff

This week has been a rough one. On Monday, I went to the doctor and found out my blood sugar was still not under control, and that I have to increase my insulin dosage. I don’t know what is going on, but I am not doing anything different than I was a year ago. Dr. Howell says my pancreas probably just gave out. Yay.$15.

A little later in the day, we had to get an exterminator to come out and treat our house for ants. Yes, ANTS.  There were at least two kinds of them in here, crawling all over, swarming in the kitchen. They were not attracted to the Terro Traps we put out. Those things just sat there on the counter, making a mess.

The same guy that got rid of our yellow jackets in the wall last year came out to spray for the ants. When he got here, there were places on the kitchen counter that were just black with so many of them. He sprayed them and where they were crawling to, around the baseboards inside the house and around the outside of the house. They are gone now, but I am tellin ya’, we tried all the home remedies we told about and nothing touched them. $80.

On Tuesday, we had to go to Douglasville to take my mother to the doctor. Her appointment card said 2:15 6/23/2015. When we got there, they did not have an appointment for her in the computer. I KNOW she had one, because I was the one who made it the last time I took her. So, my 87 year old, 5 ft tall mother stood there and told them rather loudly that YES, she DID have an appointment and Dr. Desai WOULD see her because she was there already. And so he did. After we dropped Mama off at home we went to our favorite restaurant to meet up with some friends we haven’t seen in over a year. Nice.

On Wednesday, I got up about 5:00 a.m. because I was hot. I decided to take a shower to see if that would help but when I got out of the shower, I was still hot. So, I went into the hall to tweak the thermostat but it was blank. Nothing showing at all, not working. Due to the fact that it was forecast to be 96 degrees that day, we called Dwayne, the A/C repair guy as soon as we found out it wasn’t working. He couldn’t get out here  until the next day, so we stayed at a motel in town.

The motel, Microtel, was reasonably priced, the beds were comfortable and clean, and the A/C was ice cold. But, the people upstairs from  us obviously had a band of monkeys staying with them that jumped off the bed and ran heavily around the room until after 2:00 a.m. I didn’t get much sleep.$72.95.

Dwayne called at about 8:30 to say he was on the way to our house, so we got up and went home. It wasn’t long after we got there that he came out from  under the house with a tiny fuse, like the ones that go in cars, that was blown. He had replaced it, and the A/C was working again. $69.

Thursday, we had to do some straightening up of the house, because the cleaning lady was coming. Yes, we do that. I took the sheets off the bed, laid out the clean ones for her to put on; folded laundry and put it away, and washed the few dishes that were in the sink. Fabgrandpa swept and did a couple other things that needed doing so that Reatha wouldn’t think we were complete slobs. She had scheduled us late in the day, and arrived about 5:00 p.m. $60.

While she was there cleaning the house, we went to the Mexican joint in Cedartown for dinner, then to Kroger to buy groceries. I had a bowl of chicken soup and two tacos, Fabgrandpa had a half order of fajitas. More than enough to fill us up. I can’t remember the name of the place, but the food there is really good, and almost authentic.  $18.00

The grocery store was another big expense. I am determined to get back on a good healthy diet, so I bought lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, and lots of fish. I’m trying out some quinoa and some cod fish. We’ll see how it goes. $167.

Today, thankfully, is Friday. I am not going anywhere today. I hope it is a quite, uneventful day. The best thing that happened all week, is that Enterprise Rental refunded the $70 we paid for 2 days car rental when we had the car worked on last month. I have no idea why, I just saw the refund in my Paypal account. Now that was a pleasant surprise.

My Diabetes Is Out Of Control

My meds

My meds

I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in January 2001. For many years after that diagnosis, I kept my blood sugar under great control, with HBa1C test results coming back  at or around 6.1 every time. For those who don’t know, that number should be under 6, so my blood sugar control was considered good.

Sometime last summer, things changed. I lost 48 pounds without dieting, without trying. I felt fatigued and drank water at an alarming rate. For some reason, that did not compute in my head as a problem with diabetes. A visit to my primary care physician was all it took to find that my  blood sugar had gone whacky.

Month/Year HBa1C Test Result
Dec/2011 6.1
Dec/2012 6.2
Aug/2014 11.8
Jun/2015 9.7

Dr. Howell advised me to increase my metformin to two tablets a day, and prescribed Lantus, an insulin injectable medication. I started out with 10 units of insulin per night, right before bedtime. The next time I went to see her, six months later, my blood sugar was still out of control. She told me to increase my insulin by 5 units every four or five days until it was at 25 units a night.

On Monday, I went for a follow up visit, and had blood drawn again. This time, my HBa1C was 9.7, a little better but still not good. That is unacceptable. The doctor told me this time to start increasing my insulin injection by 1 unit per night until my morning blood test is at 110 or below. This morning, it was at 128. I have a ways to go yet, and need to get it down by at least 18 points, or more.

So, I am asking you, my readers, who may have Type 2 Diabetes or have a family  member who does, to give me some tips on how to get my numbers down. If you have links to recipes you enjoy that are good for a diabetic diet, or links to websites that you use, please do add them to your comments. If you have ideas about exercises someone can do sitting in a chair, I need that info as well. I need help as I am running out of ideas.

I am thinking about adding a little box in my sidebar to update with my morning blood glucose finger prick results. Maybe  that will help me get things going in the right direction. Any other ideas you  might have? Let me know.

How To Make Collages With Your Favorite Photos

This post has affiliate links included. If you make a purchase using the link, I will receive a commission. Thank you for your support.

I have had several people ask me how to make collages. I love to making them, because I can create one and show several photos at one time. I made a collage of pictures of my grandchildren to use as my Facebook Cover photo.

All of my favorite photos of my grandchildren in one collage

All of my favorite photos of my grandchildren in one collage

I think that my Facebook cover collage turned out really great. I have used the same collage maker to make some for blog posts, and for sharing on Pinterest.

picmonkey logo

So, how do I make them? I  use PicMonkey. PicMonkey is free to use,  but like a lot of other free websites, you can pay a small monthly fee if you plan to use it a lot, and get premium features. I only use the free portion, and it lets me do a lot of neat things with photos. But, right now, you can get a free 30 day trial of the Royal premium features.

PicMonkey buttons at top of screen

PicMonkey buttons at top of screen

Once you log in to PicMonkey, click on the Collage button at the top of the screen. When you click the Collage button, the photo uploader will open to the file on your computer where you save your photos. Choose which photos you want to use, and click on Open. This will upload your photos to PicMonkey.

Your photos will upload to the Collage Maker

Your photos will upload to the Collage Maker

Next, click on the Collage button to the left of the photos you just uploaded so you can choose your collage frame. There are several types to choose from, with special ones for Facebook and Pinterest.

Choose a collage type from the list on the left.

Choose a collage type from the list on the left.

Once you have chosen your Collage type and number of photo spaces, click on the top button on the left to get back to your photos. Drag your photos from the left over to the spaces in your Collage frame by clicking on them one at a time and dragging your mouse over the space you want to put the photo in.

If you are not happy with the way the photos are arranged, just click on one of the photos in the frame, and drag it to another space. The photo that is in that space will trade places with the one you drug over. You can move photos around, delete them, and add more as many times as you want until you are satisfied with the way your Collage looks.

When you are happy with your Collage, click edit to add text or other special effects. Or, click save to save it to  your computer if you are not adding anything to it. When you click save, give your Collage a name, and then save in your pictures folder on your hard drive, or where ever you regularly save photos.

This is the collage I just made.

This is the collage I just made.

You can play around with all the effects to see how they look, how they change the photos, and make special cards or photos for everyone you know. It only takes a couple of minutes to create something fun to use on your Facebook cover, for sharing to Instagram, or send to Grandma for Mother’s Day.

You can learn how to improve your photography so your collages and photos that you edit in PicMonkey will look like a pro. Get the Beginner Digital Photography Bundle before June 29, for only $37. There are 18 e-books in this great bundle, and it is a wonderful value. It’s like having an entire library of photography how to right at your fingertips! Just $37.00 when you order Today! ($585.77 value) Or, get the Intermediate Digital Photography Bundle for $67. Just $67.00 when you order Today! ($1501.65 value)

Get all the e-books show above for $67 in the Intermediate Digital Photography Bundle. On sale thru June 29, then it is gone!